WESTOVER — Tenth graders at Washington High School showed a remarkable 52% improvement in reading skill as reported in the fall 2022 NWEA Reading MAP assessment.
The results for the current sophomore class improved by 23 percentage points — with 71% scoring “average,” “high average” and “high” — compared to just 48% in the spring.
The Reading Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth Assessment is administered three times per year to students in grades 2-12 throughout Somerset County Public Schools. As school systems recover from the COVID-19 pandemic it’s considered a critical tool in measuring academic growth with “actionable data” to guide instructional strategies.
Brandon Austin, instructional facilitator for English/Language Arts at WHS credits the growth in student performance to the implementation of a new, goal-oriented approach where students held themselves accountable using test score data.
Mr. Austin shared, “This school year, we placed more of an emphasis on setting MAP score goals. Students set a MAP score goal based on what they believed they could accomplish for the fall. As students finished the test, we saw many pulling out their goal sheets to make note of their new score. It was rewarding to see our students holding themselves accountable!”
Another difference, Mr. Austin surmised, was due to a change in test administration procedures this fall. Previously the test was taken in segments over a period of days. This year, all students tested together in the school auditorium in one day, allowing them to prepare for and focus within a more finite window of time.
The English department at WHS is encouraged by the results and hopes to see the trend continue with the school’s eighth grade and freshmen students for the spring of 2023 testing window.
At Crisfield High School, the results were less dramatic. Sixty percent of sophomores who took the NWEA Reading MAP test this fall scored “average,” “high average” or “high” compared to the overall scores as freshmen last spring.
Last year 51% of the CHS students were in one of those three categories, with the results showing an increase of 17.6%.
The increase, while anticipated by school officials, was not as impressive as the WHS results which “exceeded performance expectations,” said SCPS spokeswoman, Victoria Miele, by email.