Tippecanoe School Corporation

NWEA

NWEA Testing

Grades Tested: K-10

NWEA stands for Northwest Evaluation Association, which is the non-profit organization that provides the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP test) for grades 3-10 and the Measures of Academic Progress for Primary Grades (MPG test) for grades K-2.

NWEA tests adapt according to the student's response to each question. If the student answers a question correctly, the following questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. The goal of an NWEA test is to provide questions that are difficult enough for the student to answer approximately half the items correctly and half incorrectly. The final score is an estimate of the student’s achievement level, which may be different from the student’s grade level. When a student finishes, we immediately receive instructional levels for each of the Indiana Academic Standards, which helps inform instruction.

Is my child making typical growth?

  • STUDENT RIT stands for Rasch Unit, which is a unit of measure that uses individual test question difficulty values to estimate student achievement. This score is independent of the age or grade of the student and reflects the instructional level at which the student is currently performing in each subject area.
  • STUDENT RIT PROJECTION for the end of the school year is based on the student's actual RIT score at the beginning of the school year and the average growth of students nationwide in the same grade-level that had a similar RIT score.
  • RIT GROWTH for an entire school year can be compared to the growth projection from the beginning of the year to evaluate whether the student progressed as expected.

What if my child didn't make significant growth between tests?

Scores from NWEA tests are estimates of performance and may not always reflect everyday performance. No score should be treated as an absolute or used in isolation. If a student had little or no growth between tests, it does not necessarily mean a student is not learning, that classroom instruction has not been effective, or that NWEA data is not reliable. Sometimes student scores fall for unidentified reasons, and additional data (such as classroom performance) will provide a more complete picture of student achievement.
When looking at unsatisfactory growth, consider the following:
  • Some students may have an off day, be distracted, not put in full effort, or testing conditions (interruptions for announcements, drills, temperature, etc.) in the school may have been less than ideal.
  • For students already performing at a high level of achievement, expected growth may be lower. Because test items on NWEA are independent of grade-level, high-achieving students will sometimes be have a few test items that involve content that they simply have not yet encountered, so the fact that they answer some of these items incorrectly is understandable.
  • In some cases a decline may still be in the range of the previous term’s score and may not truly be a decline.
Concerns about a student’s growth should be communicated to the teacher to check if this data is consistent with other classroom data.