MAP student reports give parents LESS information

Photo by flag75*
If giving parents more information is the national trend, Missouri is going in the wrong direction. This year’s MAP student report (pdf) given to parents provides less information than before (pdf). Previously, parents were given the number of points possible and the percent of points earned for each subsection, which were related to the standards. That way they could see their child’s strengths and weaknesses within a content area.

This year parents are given the total score, no subtest break-outs.

As a parent I like that my child is also given a TerraNova score as it is nationally normed. Most parents I know prefer normed scores rather than standards based scores because it provides them with a frame of reference. (I have yet to meet a parent that actually likes standard-based report cards since they appear pretty meaningless to us.) How hard is it to get into the advanced category? proficient?

Speaking of frame of reference, the other piece of information given, the Lexile score, is completely lacking that for most parents. What does it mean? Oh, we’re told to go look it up. In the past parents were provided some information on the score, but not this year. Now it’s just see the website and talk to your local librarian.

❝The score measures the reading skill level of your child, so you may choose books that will encourage reading progress at Here you will find a list of titles withn your child’s Lexile range. Your local/school librarian can also help you find books within your child’s Lexile range.❞

I’m an informed parent, and I had to find a conversion chart.

Parents want information, but I’m afraid educrats are too used to seeing these results and don’t know how to provide them in a helpful manner and manage to both under and overestimate parents at the same time.

So while educators, policy wonks and social scientists debate the validity of various assessment measurement methods (which I’ll follow with interest), I would like the state to improve its communication to the parents. Perhaps it should start by having some parents help out.