MAP. OAA. OGT. SAT. ACT. Common Core assessments. Measuring data.
It’s all a part of what we do at both sides of the desk. But what does it all mean for you at home and for us at school?
In Groveport-Madison Schools, it means we use numbers to monitor student progress. We will administer a variety of different assessments to students throughout the year to see how and what we are teaching is making an impact. Our department of School Improvement leads the charge and makes certain we are doing the best we can to promote student success.
Students in third grade will take the reading portion of the Ohio Achievement Assessment (OAA) this week. High school students will take PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) next week.
We use a number of different assessment tools over the course of the year at every grade level to monitor growth. For example, the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is a computerized adaptive test given three times a year in reading, language usage, math and science that provides us with information to improve teaching and learning.
You can think of MAP assessments like the marks you’ve made on the inside of a door frame in your house to track your child’s growth. MAP results measure your child’s academic growth from year to year. The scores help us improve student learning because they enable teachers to pinpoint what students have learned and what students are ready to learn.
The OAAs, given annually to students in grades 3-8, are used to identify districts, schools and students that may need additional assistance to meet state Academic Content Standards.
Additionally, the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGTs) are given to high school students who must pass each portion of the assessment to receive a diploma. These results are also used as indicators on Ohio’s Local Report Card to measure the district’s progress at the building level and as a whole.
The SAT and the ACT tests are used by colleges and universities as a criterion for entrance. The resulting scores do not drive our curriculum as much as results from other assessments, but the data do help us determine if we are preparing students adequately for their futures beyond high school.
All of this information gathering drives our decision-making as we believe student academic gains are our fundamental measure of success. Teachers and administrators use data to differentiate instruction for students and to serve as critical components of how we identify and recognize highly effective teachers and leaders. As a result, we can uncover the instructional practices that have a positive impact on students’ academic performance and implement the approaches system-wide.
As parents, your support at home has a tremendous impact on what we do in school. Here are just a few things you can do:
- Meet with your child’s teacher as often as needed to discuss his or her progress. Ask the teacher to suggest activities for you and your child to do at home to help prepare for tests and improve your child's understanding of schoolwork. Parents and teachers working together benefits students.
- Provide a quiet, comfortable place for studying at home.
- Make sure your child is well rested on school days and especially the day of a test. Children who are tired are less able to pay attention in class or to handle the demands of a test.
- Give your child a well-rounded diet. A healthy body leads to a healthy, active mind.
- Provide books and magazines for your child to read at home. By reading new materials, a child learns new words that might appear on a test. Ask your child’s school about a suggested outside reading list or get suggestions from the public library.
- Be a good role model. Children mimic what they see at home. If your child sees you reading rather than watching television, he will understand you value reading as an enjoyable way to spend time.