Eberle, Tom; Ph.D.
Program of Education;
College of Human Development and Education; North Dakota State University
Northwest Evaluation Association RIT Scale Compared with the North Dakota State Assessment for High School Students
Major Professor: Dr. Ron Stammen
This study investigated whether the Northwest Evaluation Association-Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA-MAP) test is an appropriate measure to use as a precursor to the North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA) to help ensure that secondary schools meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The review of literature established a framework from an investigation into whether performance on the North Dakota Math and Reading Assessment can be predicted from Rasch unIT (RIT) Scores.
A mixed-methods concurrent triangulation approach was used to test the four research questions focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of using NWEA-MAP, the extent of its use, the extent to which math performance on the NDSA can be predicted using NWEA-MAP, and the extent to which reading performance on the NDSA can be predicted using NWEA-MAP. Survey data from 16 Class A principals were used to conduct an in-depth qualitative analysis. A qualifying sample of historical student data was obtained from four school districts, and a Pearson r correlation and multiple regression statistical analysis were conducted.
The survey data given by the Class A principals revealed that the advantages of using the NWEA-MAP assessment are that it can be used to track student growth over time, that it allows for early intervention and placement of students based on their strengths and weaknesses, that it provides the school with immediate feedback, that it is aligned with state standards, and that it helps school districts meet AYP. The principals reported that the disadvantages of using the NWEA-MAP assessment included loss of computer lab time due to testing, loss of instructional time, too many assessments, and test scores being of little use.
The results of the statistical analysis indicated that there was a significant correlation between students’ NDSA math test scores, and students’ spring 2008 and fall 2008 MAP math test scores. The results of the multiple regression statistical analysis indicated that there was a significant correlation between students’ NDSA reading test scores, and students’ spring 2008 and fall 2008 MAP reading test scores.
Although many principals stated multiple purposes for the use of NWEA-MAP, caution should be taken not to assume that a single assessment, such as the NWEA-MAP, has multiple purposes. The MAP assessment is only a small part of the total assessment picture, and it is intended to be used with other sources of data to make instructional and resource-allocation decisions.
North Dakota school districts will be able to provide high-quality individualized instruction to all students if they utilize a combination of NWEA-MAP assessment data, classroom assessment data, NDSA data, and recommended services that could be provided by the North Dakota Regional Education Associations (NDREAs).