MAP Tests May Change
These Fulton High School freshmen are learning about English verbs, a subject their teacher and the MAP will test them on at the end of the school year.
But this could be one of the last tests for the MAP.
"Many people believe that a lot of students simply aren't doing their best work on the MAP because there's no incentive to do so," said Stan Johnson of the Department of Elementry and Secondary Education.
So, many schools provide incentives. For example, students here can avoid a final exam if they score high enough on their MAP.
"Which is huge," said Suzanne Hall of Fulton Public Schools. "I mean, the kids love that."
State assessments not only show student progress, but also affect what teachers do in the classroom.
"It does help us improve instruction," said Hall.
But not if the results are inaccurate. So, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has developed three options for high schools: keep the MAP, or use a college entrance exam such as the ACT, or provide a special final exam for each subject.
"There are several benefits to all those options," said Johnson, whose department will present the options to the state Board of Education in January. If the board decides accepts the options, the earliest they would take effect at Missouri high schools is the spring of 2009.