Tennessee is learning how much academic progress their students have made in the last year. Most Tennessee schools are now using the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP. MAP can tell us how much a student has grown academically each year. This is important because proficiency-based schools are one-dimensional, only telling us if students are performing at grade level. Growth scores let us know how much each student has progressed over a specific period, with no regard as to where they started. It shows how far a student has progressed, giving a much better-rounded idea of how students are actually progressing each school year. Over 2,400 school districts throughout the word utilize MAP assessments.
Data collected nationally proves that students who are born disadvantaged and in poverty rarely ever catch up to other students. An achievement gap can be seen in every subject tested. Tracking a student’s academic growth is so important because it allows us to see if a student that started out below grade level has a chance of catching up to their peers.
While Tennessee school districts are just beginning to utilize MAP, Rocketship Public Schools have been using MAP since we first opened our doors in 2006. Rocketship began in San Jose, California inside a church. It has since grown considerably, and now has a network of public elementary charter school around the country. Rocketship was founded to serve low-income students who do not have access to exceptional schools they can excel in. Rocketship is well aware of the achievement gap between low-income and other schools and seeks to bridge that gap. Our commitment to having excellent teachers, personalized learning based on technology, and utilizing personalized instruction makes a gigantic difference in our student’s ability to succeed. Rocketship hopes to be the catalyst to a movement that will eliminate the achievement gap between students, and we are trying to set the example along the way.