President's Message: Update on MAP Testing

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope the holiday provides everyone with some well-deserved rest.

In the meantime, I wanted to give PAT members an update on MAP testing in PPS. On Monday, November 5th, we had a productive meeting with Deputy Superintendent Yvonne Curtis about some of the concerns you’ve expressed regarding MAP testing. We left with an ask: PPS should go back to the original plan of MAP Testing only in Math for 3rd-8th/Algebra grades, and students should only take the test once, in one language.

She said we would have a response by December.

To be clear, we weren’t arguing that MAP testing is good or bad. How can we even begin to discuss the merits of the test, or lack thereof, when the roll-out has been too much, too fast, without any real coordination?

Even the NWEA, the organization that developed the MAP test, agrees that we are doing too much, too fast. Here are some brief examples of how the scope of MAP testing expanded, without input from educators, creating chaos in many buildings:

  • All Title 1 schools added testing for K-2 students. Not only are educators worried the test is inappropriate for this grade level, there are concerns over a lack of access to technology;
  • Some schools have also decided to administer the MAP literacy test, without any evidence that its valid or reliable, and before the Math assessment has even been administered successfully;
  • DLI students have been tested twice, in both English and Spanish, losing additional instructional time;

The worst example of this uncoordinated expansion of MAP testing happened at one DLI, Title 1 school, where students took the Literacy and the Math test, each in Spanish and again in English.

That's four tests, and it’s not even Thanksgiving!

To make matters worse, administrators are planning on repeating this process two more times this year. That completely contradicts the District’s own position on assessments, as well as the state's. It’s already been a tragic loss of instructional time, especially for our students who most need time to learn.

Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to make your voice heard concerning this important issue. The School Board is having a work session on Tuesday, December 4th, at 6 PM to discuss both GVC and MAP testing. During the Board’s work sessions, you can speak to Board members directly and answer their questions. If you have more to say about either the GVC or MAP, please consider attending.

In Solidarity,

Suzanne Cohen 
PAT President