MCPS requires MAP testing for high school students

MCPS requires MAP testing for high school students

Photo courtesy NWEA

By Zoe Cantor

Students will take Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments from their homes on September 16 and 23. 

As a result of MCPS’ emergency closing in March due to COVID-19, the Maryland State Department of Education has mandated that students from grades K–12 complete diagnostic tests. In previous years, only students in grades K–8 took the tests. These exams are intended to monitor how online learning has affected students’ math and literacy skills. 

“MAP is a reliable measure of student progress and provides both teachers and parents with valuable information about student progress in critical areas of mathematics and literacy,” said Assistant School Administrator Joseph Msefya.

Students will complete the math portion of the test, MAP-M, on September 16 and the literacy portion, MAP-R, on September 23. Freshmen and sophomores will take the tests from 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., while juniors and seniors will test from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

MAP tests aim to evaluate student growth, giving students scores in math and literacy as well as various subcategories.

The testing will take place on asynchronous learning days, which are typically reserved for independent work and optional virtual check-ins with teachers. Proctors will monitor students over Zoom in class-sized groups, similarly to how students would be monitored in classrooms. 

“The role of the teacher is to walk you through it all,” said history teacher Kirkland Shipley. 

Many students are displeased with the reintroduction of standardized testing into their schedules, especially on a day reserved specifically for asynchronous learning. 

“It feels unnecessary,” senior Jack Spector said. “Students have a lot on their plates these days.”

The testing is not meant to focus on individuals’ academic performance, but instead to help staff decide how to approach teaching students during the pandemic, MCPS said. 

“This test will give staff, teachers and the rest of the school team information on what we need to be able to make more instructional decisions,” Msefya said. “We will be able to use our limited time more effectively.” 

Though MCPS only notified staff about the testing a week ago, staff and administrators have worked hard to make testing run as smoothly as possible.

“It’s going to be challenging, but it’s MCPS,” Shipley said. “I would never doubt them for wanting to do the right thing.”