MAP Tests Out
The scores act as measuring sticks for the schools, but what's in it for the students?
"One of the big criticisms is that there's no consequence for the students. So I've heard results from various workshops, for example in Kansas City, one teacher said they had a student who was a National Merit Finalist and a Presidential Scholar, who totally blew the MAP test and they confronted him and he said, 'Well, what do I care?'" said Ene-Kaja Chippendale of Focus on Learning.
The State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education developed a committee that came up with three options to address the problems:
"One, to stay with the current high school MAP. Second, go to a college entrance exam which would need to be augmented. And third was to go to some end-of-course exam," said Stan Johnson with the Missouri Department of Education.
Last month, the state decided in favor of end-of-course tests. Starting in 2008, students will be tested at the end of their Algebra 1, English 2 and Biology courses. By 2010, the department plans on adding end of course tests in Government, American History, Geometry, English 1, Chemistry and Physical Science.
To address the student's motivation, they are discussing making the scores count towards course grades. Not everyone is happy with new approach.
"[It's] like they're jumping out of the frying pan into the fire without having what all the information about what test they're substituting for the MAP test," Chippendale said.
Illinois and Colorado currently use forms of the ACT as their assessment test. Michigan, Kentucky, Wyoming, and Tennessee plan on switching to the ACT within the next year.