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    #250735 05/10/24 07:34 AM
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    My son is 10 and in the 4th grade at public school. He is gifted and has been diagnosed with written expression disorder, auditory processing disorder and a deficit in writing fluency.

    My son’s school uses MAP growth testing 3x a school year for math and reading. Those are both very strong areas for my son. Because of the format of the testing, it bypasses all of his weaknesses. His MAP scores are very high.

    In second grade MAP testing seemed helpful, as the school could finally have data to support his abilities and the testing helped identify him as gifted.

    In 3rd and 4th grade, he has been taking a long time to take the tests. The tests are not timed, so they allow him to test as long as he needs. Sometimes this becomes 2-3 hrs of testing in one day.

    I recently asked the school about how long he is taking on these tests and if there are any accommodations to make it less intense (thinking they may be able to break up the testing over a few days or start his test at a higher level).

    The school got back to me telling me that the test times are excessive. That he needs to change his approach to testing. If he doesn’t know the answer, that he should guess and not take too much time to figure it out.

    This is very contrary to how my son approaches learning. He self teaches a lot and he doesn’t have clear boundaries of what he knows and does not know. He tends to just be very curious and asks a lot of questions and experiments/tinkers.

    It also runs contrary to our parenting for him. We encourage him to do his best and follow his interests and curiosity. We support strength areas at home… sort of like gifted homeschool enrichment.

    Does anyone have a similar experience with MAP testing?

    Does anyone have deeper knowledge about MAP testing and how that aligns with gifted/2e learners?

    On one hand I think it’s inappropriate to have a child testing for 2-3 hrs at a time. On the other hand I’m not sure that modifying his behavior is the right solution. Is he just atypical enough that he’s testing the boundaries of the MAP testing?

    I am also not sure that the school is really using the data from the MAP testing to change anything about how he is instructed, so maybe the testing is unnecessary and we should opt out. The school has identified him as gifted and their gifted program is in flux/budget cut, so he qualifies for all of the services they offer, but what those services are seem to be up in the air. A classroom teacher could use the data to customize his instruction. But, we haven’t seen this happen so far… Generally he gets regular classroom instruction, occasionally pulled out with other students who are IDed gifted. His strength areas are very high (he may not have same grade peers), paired with slow writing ability, which takes up a lot of his time.

    This is such a specific question that only people who have in depth knowledge about gifted/2e can really understand - so I appreciate your input!

    Last edited by millersb02; 05/11/24 05:55 AM.
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    What is the school using the MAP testing for? Our schools were testing 3 x per year initially, but then decided to test only once per year for kids "on track". They save more frequent testing for kids who are considered behind. And for the top kids, they provided the next level up which they said keeps testing time down. If the schools are using the information for useful instruction, then I wouldn't change a thing. But if they're offering the same curriculum no matter what MAP shows, then might be worthwhile decreasing the number of tests.

    Does he enjoy the test? If so, I'd let him continue to take the time. Since he's good at it, it may be more stimulating for him than the work he is missing. My 2E was always good at standardized tests too. And struggled with the classwork where he was totally inconsistent in his work product. MAP testing was fun for him and a place to shine. We were sad when they reduced the testing.

    He will be moving into timed testing at some point around middle school, but he's young and the way he approaches life is absolutely perfect.

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    My son takes forever on these tests too. The school agreed to drop the math test entirely and to just do the language ones at the end of each year. Occasionally they do a science test end of year as well. His math score would have been great for a HS student when he was in 4th grade, so obviously they weren't using the score the inform instruction and there was no risk of him ever falling behind. His verbal scores are always 96-98ish so we just check in with the map yearly to make sure he's on track. DS was missing out on way too much class time to get these tests done, loss of significant hours of instructional time is something schools like to avoid.

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    MAP testing is designed for child-find--IOW, to identify students at-risk of academic failure or underachievement. Its use for identifying above-level students is rather secondary to the original intent.

    You may find this reference from NWEA on average test durations interesting: https://www.nwea.org/content/uploads/2018/08/Average-MAP-Growth-Test-Durations.pdf
    Take a look especially at page four, which pulls out the 90th %ile and above of testers, and then breaks them further into where they fall by test duration. So the 90th %ile of high performers really does test for about 1.5- over 2 hours per MAP test.

    Note also that they are allowed to take breaks, and to test over multiple days, so that sessions don't become excessively long.

    Last edited by aeh; 05/16/24 04:36 PM. Reason: more--and interpretive correction

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    Thanks for the response @spaghetti He does enjoy the tests. We are thinking along the same lines as you, that as long as he enjoys it to let him keep taking the (long) tests.

    Last edited by millersb02; 06/26/24 04:50 PM.
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    @SaturnFan Yes, we’re in the same boat, he’s scoring many grades advanced as well. I am not worried about his learning trajectory changing. I am not too concerned about missing instruction either. It’s more so the long marathon of a test that seemed off to me.

    Last edited by millersb02; 06/26/24 04:55 PM.
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    @aeh do you know of any documentation that states a MAP test can be split up over multiple days? The school seemed unaware of this option.

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    From page 3 of the NWEA MAP Proctor Guide: (February 2024)

    "-Confirm the testing window dates set by your district.
    -All tests should be started by the end of the window.
    -Plan enough time for students to take breaks, especially early learners. The test is not timed and can be taken over multiple days. You might also need to intervene or retest when students rapid-guess excessively."

    The guide also includes directions for pausing (<25 minutes), suspending (up to 28 days), and resuming test sessions.

    I searched "nwea map proctor guide 2024".


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    Thank you aeh!


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