Teachers Gear Up for MAP Test

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JEFFERSON CITY - A Thomas Jefferson Middle School teacher prepared her students Wednesday for the Missouri Assesment Program tests that districts can start taking March 28.

Seventh grade teacher Kelly Barninger worked with her kids on how to determine what types of questions they'll see. Barninger has been working with her students on what the difference is between words like 'evaluate,' 'describe,'  'illustrate,' and 'classify.'

"When describing, I want to be able to or the reader needs to be able to get a mental image using words," Barninger said. "Evaluate is to give an opinion, right or wrong, it's your opinion."

Sixth grade students taking the communications arts test last year were one of two groups in the district who performed below the state average. 15 other groups in the district taking the MAP performed above the state average. Thomas Jefferson Students will start taking the test Monday, April 18. One of Barninger's students, Cole Eidson, is a little nervous going into the tests.

"I know I have to do good on it to like pass the grade and stuff," Eidson said.

Eidson says few teachers discuss the way questions are worded as much as Barninger does. Wednesday, Barninger gave students a reading and then told them to evaluate and describe the characters.

"Oh I like it a lot," Eidson said. "I actually know what to expect on the MAP instead of going into it [not knowing.]"

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education helps facilitate the test with CTB-McGraw Hill. DESE's Communications Coordinator feels confident the wording of the tests isn't more challenging than it should be.

"The questions that are on a fourth grade students' test are appropriate for a fourth grade student," Clark said. "The terms and words on a seventh grade test would be appropriate for that age group."

DESE determines whether school districts in the state can loose accredidation from their MAP scores. The state has 522 public school districts. 12 school districts are not fully credited including the Gilliam, Morgan County, and Malta Bend School Districts of mid-Missouri.

To see how Jefferson City did last year on the MAP test, click here

 To visit the MAP section of DESE's website, click here