No MAP testing for juniors

Kate Lichter, Staff Writer

 A change has been made to who is completing the MAP testing this spring semester. Not only are seniors exempt from MAPs, juniors have also been dismissed this semester. Multiple reasons contribute to the decision on not to test the juniors.

The district is switching from a local server to a web based service for the MAP tests. Other districts have come across reliability issues with the MAP testing on the web based server, so the school board decided that the district should not move to a web base. Because the district cannot use the web base, the option of iPads is also ruled out. “We consulted with the vendor and they advised that we should remain local server based until the reliability of their web solution was improved,” Bruce Amendt, associate superintendent of academic service, said.

The second reason is due to the 1:1 iPad program which eliminated older computers and computer labs. If the district were to use the amount of computers it has currently at the high school the testing could take up to 15 class days to get through the sophomore and junior classes.

With these issues in mind the school board looked at other options such as using the laptops in the schools. Laptops, however, would have to be taken from classes that used them in order to install the software and format for MAP testing. The laptops would also require time to charge during some period in the day, taking away testing time.

This trend of no MAP testing for juniors is yet to be fully discussed and decided. The board will be meeting with the vendor for the web base to see if it will be reliable in the future.

“After considering numerous options, it was determined that the least impactful to the student instructional time was not to test the juniors this spring,” Amendt said.  “We determined that staff would have fall MAP testing and recent Iowa Tests data to use to monitor student learning of 11th grade students.  In addition we have a large number of 11th graders who take the ACT which provides another data source on student learning.”