Monday, December 06, 2010

MAP Opt-Out

I have repeatedly asked Dr. Enfield about district procedure for MAP opt-out. She said she'd get back to me.


So from the complete and utter silence on this point and the fact that I know there is no policy on opting out of MAP, here's what I say.

Just do it. You write a letter (they need something on file) saying your child won't be participating, that your child will be in school (as is his or her's legal right) and that you are sending your child to school in the belief that they will have some academic task. (Meaning, don't just tell my kid to sit in the office for 2 hours. Give them a book.) I opted my sons out the WASL and they're both in college.

MAP is not a requirement.

Your school will not lose money if your child doesn't take the test.

Your teacher, if you asked them, probably knows enough about your child from the classroom and probably finds MAP results not much help. (MAP opt-out is more of a problem for teachers given the use of assessments in their own assessment. That said, you get to decide what is best for your child.)

Ask yourself if you feel you, as a parent, are getting anything out of it. If so, great. If not, opt out.

Ask yourself how it makes your child feel or if your child is getting something out of it. If so, great. If not, opt out.

Given that the district seems unable or unwilling to use data properly, how does not taking MAP, either in total or just one testing, hurt the district?

Do not let any other parent, teacher or principal scare or bully you into having your child take this test. If the answer is "what can it hurt?", then you as a parent have to make that decision. If it isn't harming your child, then ask, is it helping my child? What does the teacher tell me that he or she does differently based on the test results specific to my child? That is supposed to be the beauty of MAP test; instant results for teachers to guide their teaching.

From the time Charlie first raised this idea of opting out of testing (it was the WASL and he said Advanced Learning parents should opt out), it was a good idea.

You don't have to go to a Board meeting or visit a Board member or talk to the Superintendent. All you need to do is write a letter and say no.

This will get their attention like nothing else.


ConcernedSPSParent said...

But if MAP is used for APP placement
does opting out not mean no APP?

mirmac1 said...


Read these memos.

Best thing since sliced bread

MAP is not the end-all for all things measurable. NWEA sold it like snake oil. City of Seattle staffers were all over it. SPS figured they could fit the pegs in the round holes and the square ones would sort themselves out.

Based on what I've read, get enough people to say "go MAP yourself" to SPS and the house of cards comes down.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I would challenge that APP placement. They tried that with WASL.

And how is that fair that other kids can opt out and yet only those who want to enroll their children in APP HAVE to take it? I'm not even sure that's legal.

Did they end APP testing? No. So they need the MSP AND the MAP for eligibility? It's quite the blackmail they have.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I would fully support parents who opt out of MAP. The scores are marginally useful at best. They aren't helping the kids and they aren't telling me anything I didn't already know.

A mass opt out would be a powerful message and it would derail or at least stall an awful lot of the district's bad ideas.

I intentionally wrote my student achievement goals for my evaluation without using the MAP. It doesn't measure what I teach and thus is a meaningless measure. Also, I was hoping parents would rebel. Teachers can't opt our kids out, but you can. Thank you.

Dismayed Teacher

Mr. Edelman said...

I have found the MAP data to be unreliable and therefore I will not use it. In fact, I believe it would be unethical for me to use untrustworthy data in attempting to differentiate instruction.

Right now, I'm very frustrated with having our library tied up with MAP testing. It is making it difficult for my students to do their research projects. MAP testing is interfering with curriculum and student learning. If Board members won't listen to teachers when they tell them this, maybe they will listen to parents when enough of them opt out.

Anonymous said...

Map is crap. I am a school employee and you wouldn't believe how everything stops for the Map test. All technological assistance beyond what is necessary to keep the map-installed computers running and collecting data came to a halt this fall for over a month because all of the district tech people are told to only focus on the map test. Although use of a computer is critical to my job, I had to wait 6 weeks to get one because of the map test. I can only imagine what my experience is like multiplied throughout the district.

In many schools the librarians are administrating the test so there are no library services or maybe no library if it is used for testing.

It's so sad to see all all the students lined up at the computers. Its an inhumane scene,from my perspective. Especially knowing they will have to do it 3x this year. Even if they are just 5 years old. It's sick.

not fooled

ConcernedSPSParent said...

I'm not suggesting MAP is a good idea
at all, but it is the gatekeeper for
APP like it or not. So, I guess I'm
asking if I withdraw my child from
MAP am I also withdrawing him from
APP eligibility?.

Anonymous said...

If there is no Spring score can "student growth" be calculated?

Dorothy Neville said...

"MAP opt-out is more of a problem for teachers given the use of assessments in their own assessment."

According to Pat Sander, the MAP is not appropriate for evaluating teachers. She claimed that it is not in the CBA to use the MAP for evaluating teachers. It cannot be there, she insisted, because the test is not designed to do that.

Remember, that transparent, reliable, valid algorithm for a two year rolling average of student growth via test scores is still a pipe dream. Pat Sander said that the task force to create that will start work in January.

So, some teachers might put MAP in their personal SMART goals, but there is no other use of MAP currently for evaluating teachers.

Boycott? Go for it. I do understand the APP issue though, that stinks. But... isn't that just one of the three per year? Would they penalize you for boycotting Winter MAP?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sorry, Concerned. Yes, you are right...up to a point. I see a flaw at the AL site and I think I'll talk to Bob Vaughn about it.

The district wants high achieving kids taking the assessments at all costs. That the MSP isn't good enough (because they want you to take MAP AND worry about taking MSP).

I'll let you know what Dr. Vaughn says.

Anonymous said...

6th grade math placement for APP students may be based on the 5th grade Winter MAP scores. This could be why some parents are hesitant to opt-out. Whether MAP is valid as a placement test could be a topic for another discussion.

mirmac1 said...

"Thanks for the information. Maybe we will someday become the district you can point to that is making ground-breaking use of MAP data to evaluate progress among gifted students? I have googled about and found little informative on the national google-accessible scene."

Read this exchange. NWEA even says MAP's not intended for this purpose.

Maybe if we say it works, it will!

but then, maybe not...

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Wow Mirmac1, Vaughn in his own words
says he lobbied hard to get MAP in
Seattle schools for APP and _then_
asks the NWEA for help justifying it.
What has the district come to?

mirmac1 said...

That's what we're all asking ourselves....

Braessae said...

ConcernedSPSParent: If you are otherwise not inclined to feed the beast (i.e. -- let your child take the MAP) but need it to qualify for APP, have your child take it that once, get into the program, and then decline to take it thereafter. I used to think they really wanted the high scoring kids to take the test -- so they would look good -- but since I now think much of the testing is to be used to tear down programs, close schools, and fire teachers, I am not sure that what they most want is for kids to take it and FAIL (hmm. Maybe that is why they were so "illogical" as to pick a test that does not correlate to our grade level learning requirements. Maybe it wasn't as illogical as we thought. Just unethical.

ConcernedSPSParent said...

one question though; does the fall
MAP test have to be taken every year
to continue APP enrollment?

seattle said...

What do HS students need to pass to graduate now? HSPE, End of Course exams, or MAP?

Meg said...

concerned parent - MAP is used as a gatekeeper to eliminate kids from testing. If the child doesn't take the MAP test, then they can still go through the advanced learning testing cycle.

Please don't take my understanding as a sure thing, though - contact the Advanced Learning office to confirm.

JaneAddamsKindergartenMom said...

It's my understanding that MAP scores at the 85%ile are required (and a parental permission form) to be referred on for Cogat testing. So, yes, a child has to take the MAP to become spectrum/APP.
IF a child tests as spectrum or APP AND is enrolled in Spectrum or APP, they are in and don't need to do anything further to continue eligibility from year to year. If a child tests as qualified, but does not enroll in spectrum or APP, the child does need to re-qualify after a year.

Things I don't know -

1)if there is a appeal that can be made if the student doesn't qualify through MAP scores or doesn't take the test. (If an appeal does exist, I believe that the parent has to pay the full cost of private testing.)

2) I don't believe that enrollment in an ALO program continues eligiblity for spectrum/APP, but I don't know that for sure.

mirmac1 said...


I want to preface my comments by noting that I purposefully pulled my son from consideration for Spectrum because I did not want to overwhelm him (with academics) along with the other SPED issues (social) I feel are equally important for a meaningful learning experience....

First, I would challenge any SPS requirement that parents pay for the additional two points of data their own data and assessment "expert" says is required to bolster MAP criterion for APP measurement.

Second, as the parent of a special needs child and active in SPED advocacy on a district scale, I would use the Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) tool to establish that my child requires an ALO or other advanced program. Utilize the IEE to gather as much data as to your child's strengths and weaknesses. This will inform your IEP and garner the most benefits for your child.

contact the seattle_sped_pta@yahoogroups.com, for membership and advice.

gavroche said...

We have opted out. It took a letter to the Principal and a note or conversation with the teacher(s). That second part is very important. Some teachers may feel pressured to give the test to all kids, so they need to know that you have opted out and mean it.

I wonder if Bob Vaughan realized what his lobbying for MAP would mean -- three times a year, hours of lost time, libraries off limits for weeks at a time, kindergarteners in tears.

I understand that testing lots of kids for Advanced Learning is costly. But MAP 3x/year is too, and in many ways beyond just financially.

Eric M said...

I opted my kid out early in the fall. They punished him so thoroughly (at Whitman) by having him sit on a chair with NOTHING to do for hours. He got so bored by lunch, he begged to take the rest of the test, which they were happy to accommodate. I'd suggest keeping your kid home that day.

And just so you're clear about what you got for your 5 million MAP test dollars, taxpayers, know that teachers have received NO TRAINING WHATSOEVER this year on using MAP test data to improve instruction.

a) The teacher leaders admin counted on last year to lead the training are not willing to have anything to do with it, after how the MAP test was reinvented to evaluate teachers.
b) This administration has a constant thrill for new projects, but no ability to sustain effort on old projects. By "old", I mean anything older than about 1 month. You would think, for example, after the tremendous and wonderful new teacher contract, there might be some sustained effort in establishing the new evaluation system for teachers and making it work, and using it to help teachers improve. There is a LOT of confusion among staff about procedures and meanings.

You would think, but no.

Click on this said...

EricM...at our school the MAP leads disregard District emails about MAP trainings and using MAP scores. Last year's MAP meetings were so poorly attended that in some cases there were only two teachers attending trainings where 20 were expected from a cluster (those two worked at the training site). This year our staff made a group decision to refrain from integrating any of the silly MAP implementation strategies (i.e. MAP guiding instruction - what a grotesque farce that is).

Also, last year there was one weird "tool" the MAP trainers called "laddering" that was so pedestrian it became a running joke amongst our entire staff. The PowerPoint presentations on the topic reminded us of those those corny self-help seminars where attendees are encouraged to give up their personal attachments to destructive forces in their lives. Sort of like a bad infomercial. I actually felt bad for the trainer from the District for whom this was only his/her job. That trainer asked to be reassigned.

MAP will die on the vine in a few years. Give it time, grin, shake your head, and laugh when they leave.

BTW - The most common answer our staff got to questions about MAP was, "We'll get back to you on that." Nobody ever - EVER - got back to us on anything - EVER!

hschinske said...

Wow Mirmac1, Vaughn in his own words says he lobbied hard to get MAP in Seattle schools for APP and _then_ asks the NWEA for help justifying it. What has the district come to?

Okay, the time line there is troubling, as he should have looked into whether it was any good for this purpose BEFORE they adopted it. But his wanting MAP to provide usable data for advanced learning is reasonable and laudable, and JdB's undercutting of that (basically saying "Don't help him, he's trying to do something we don't want him to do") is frankly a bit horrific.

Helen Schinske

Lori said...

I agree, Helen. Those emails certainly do not inspire confidence, to put it mildly! Lobbying to get something then justifying its use after you get it?

A few months ago when APP families got letters asking us to make sure our kids participate in MAP, I read between the lines that our kids were needed to be test cases. That is, NWEA didn't have data on TAG kids as a group (talented and gifted), and Seattle was going to be an experiment. Now I see that I was right - it's spelled out right here in email that the AL office thinks Seattle might be ground-breaking with what we do with MAP for TAG kids.

OK, so why not be upfront about that with parents? Instead, we're told that MAP is going to be used to inform instruction for our kids, that our individual children will benefit from doing MAP and not having access to the library for weeks at a time.

I can say with certainty that no one yet knows how to use my child's fall scores to inform instruction this year. Her scores are so out of whack with the teacher's (and our) other observations that they are meaningless. According to the Lexile range MAP gave my 7 year old, Brave New World is actually too easy for her! It's laughable. I can say with certainty that she would not understand that book!

I was intrigued by MAP last year and thought it had potential. My child even liked doing it (probably because it was a change of pace). But now at a school with no dedicated computer lab and better daily challenge, neither of us is enthused. She really misses the library when MAP is going on. And I'm not getting useful information. Last year, I thought the Lexile information was helpful, but apparently even that can be wildly inaccurate.

Dorothy Neville said...

Ah, Last year Lori spoke in favor of MAP because for her child, MAP delivered as promised. It pointed out a gap between the child's achievement level and the instructional situation she was in. Is this correct? Therefore the teacher targeted the child for instructional work more at her level AND Lori had good reason for looking into APP.

That's exactly what the hopes were for MAP. However, overall the anecdotal evidence does not support Lori's situation being the norm. Really, identification of young children -- by their teacher or school -- for advanced learning has always been hit or miss. So with MAP it continues to be hit or miss.

Lori said...

Sort of, Dorothy. I do believe MAP helped us see the gap last year, but not much was done at the school level to inform instruction, which is what I thought its purpose was. So on that count, the test strikes out 2 years in a row for us.

I also don't think it should be used as a barrier to AL testing but rather only as a screen to pickup kids not otherwise nominated or identified. I don't think it should be a teacher evaluation tool either. I think if it's used at all, it should be for its stated purpose of informing instruction. Unfortunately, the schools don't seem to have the time or resources to do that.

Finally, if NWEA doesn't know how/if MAP is relevant to advanced learners, then don't take up precious school time with it. I'd be happy to have my daughter take MAP after school as part of a pilot program if NWEA and SPS need data from this population. NWEA should be paying us for that, honestly! They are the ones who will benefit from our kids' data. It's upsetting that our AL office would knowingly subject our kids to an experiment without telling us.

hschinske said...

Lori, I read that differently, but not a lot more optimistically. My interpretation of that passage was that Bob Vaughan suspected he was being stonewalled on the info (because NWEA does in fact have data on the use of MAP with gifted kids -- it used to be a selling point, back before NWEA got co-opted by the reform agenda and started seeing major dollar signs) and was politely insisting that the issue remain open.

Re the Lexile thing: that's a Lexile limitation, not really anything to do with MAP itself. Your daughter can probably decode things that are at about the same level of verbal complexity as Brave New World, but that's a surface measure of a text's difficulty, and no measure at all of a text's appropriateness.

Incidentally, I have no idea why Brave New World comes out so low even on the decoding measure. Its Lexile level is only a little higher than that of Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and Beverly Cleary is no opaque stylist. (I do understand why books like Stuart Little or The Wind in the Willows might rank higher.)

Helen Schinske

suep. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Amazon publishes Flesch Kincaid Indexes for most books it sells. You can find it in the Concordance section. It is a standardized measure of text complexity, roughly based on grade level. Of course, there are no concepts, or plot complexity measured so it is limited. Microsoft Word provides Flesch Kincaid grade levels for text.

FKI Brave New World = 7.2
FKI Ramona Quimby Age 8 = 6.2
FKI Wind in the Willows = 4.3
FKI Stuart Little = 5.9

This seems a little off. Ramona and Stuart may be a little high, but basically it's an off the cuff comparison.

Seatte Parent

suep. said...

I just posted a more succinct version of this info here: How to opt out of the MAP® test


Melissa Westbrook said...

Sue, Leila Kipp is the librarian at Hamilton. So why would you need to write to her in specific?

Also, to my knowledge, there is no written policy yet. Do you know something different?

hschinske said...

I think you must have hit on a simplified edition of The Wind in the Willows. The original version (I'm looking at the Signet Classic edition) gets an FK of 8.1.

Helen Schinske

suep. said...

Hi Melissa. Good catch. I just corrected that and will re-post the comment I wrote here.

In short, it appears that parents need to notify their school's MAP administrator (I'd notify the principal and teachers too) if they want to opt out.

What I wanted to highlight is that apparently parents/guardians may need to send a letter for each MAP session -- i.e. three times a year.

I would have thought that one letter for the whole year would have been enough, but apparently not.


suep. said...

(Corrected version of earlier comment)

I have heard from a couple of different sources that last year's winter MAP scores trended downward district-wide to such a degree that they were not deemed entirely accurate or useful.

(I have noticed that in some MAP test summaries from last year, only two MAP data points are mentioned, leaving me to wonder if indeed one of the sessions was deemed invalid or flawed.)

Brad Bernatek explained this phenomenon as similar to the post-summer-break academic slump that happens to kids each year. So I wonder if that is why they are starting the winter MAP before the winter holiday break this year.

Following on from what Lori said, I have also heard that when it was suggested that the district skip the problematic winter MAP test entirely, it was made clear by someone (SPS? NWEA?) that that would not be allowed because NWEA wants the data. (!)

If this is true, then our children are being used as data fodder for a testing company. At our expense, no less.

Also, I've just learned that parents/guardians who want to opt their kids out of MAP may need to do so for every MAP session -- that is, send three separate letters each year to their school's MAP administrator.

One opt-out letter at the beginning of the year will not necessarily cover all three testing sessions.

--sue p.

mirmac1 said...

Interesting how SPS does not want commonsense advice on reasons a child may have unrepresentative test results. It conflicts with "internal messaging". Is it because that internal message is "...because you're a BAD BAD teacher!"

Reasons for Negative Growth

Anonymous said...

From the meeting minutes of the APP Advisory Committee meeting (bold added):

Many of the 6th graders new to APP are struggling with CMP math whereas others feel like the math is moving too slowly. The MAP scores are used for placement but these do not provide any indication of whether a student is familiar with the CMP curriculum.

Is the problem with the test or the curriculum? Or both?

The school has also instituted a new policy requiring all students to be in the building for six periods. Some students don’t take a full schedule because they have decided to take one or two courses online.

Would those be math classes?

Yet, these students still have to be at school for 6 periods. Students can’t do their online courses at school. The school doesn’t have the computer space nor the staff to supervise. So they are being assigned to classrooms as TAs during the periods when they do not have class.


Anonymous said...

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This piece may be circulated without cost on the Internet, but only if used uncut and cost-free. The Bartleby Project is taken from Mr. Gatto's book, Weapons of Mass Instruction, New Society Publishers 2008.

If you read this to the end, you'll discover that I'm inviting you to join a real conspiracy, call it an open conspiracy, with real consequences on millions of real lives. I know that sounds megalomaniacal, but be patient. If we pull this off, a great many will bless us, although the school industry few will curse us. This is about a project to destroy the standardized testing industry, one in which you, personally, will be an independent unit commander. This adventure is called "The Bartleby Project, for reasons you'll learn in just a little while. And keep in mind as you read, this has nothing to do with test reform. It's about test destruction.

READ ON...: http://bartlebyproject.com/gatto.html

udubgrad said...

Has anyone asked to see the results of their child's MAP test? The district is required by law to provide it for parents. If the district does not provide it, they are in trouble with the feds under the FERPA laws. If they do, parents will be able to see the nutty questions and report to us (and whomever they want) their take on MAP testing.

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Map scores are available here:

You need to register for access.

hschinske said...

FERPA gives you the right to see the scores, not necessarily the test. In many cases tests are confidential (I don't think parents ever saw the ITBS, for instance, and they're certainly not allowed to see the CogAT). In the case of the MAP, each test is unique and not written down, so you can't access it.

Helen Schinske

mirmac1 said...

This is NWEA's perfect world... Watch this video and then have a strong drink.

Somebody's had just a little too much KoolAid

Zebra (or Zulu) said...

Sorry, Mirmac1, I just threw up.

If my classroom ever looks and/or sounds like that...fire me!

nancy said...

Is the MAP reliability and validity data available somewhere?

It is my understanding (a little late) that MAP is used only to screen out kids for the CoGAT - if there is no MAP score (i.e. private school or opt out) they cannot deny you the CoGAT. Is this untrue?

I have asked Dr. Vaughn for the reliability data for primary grades. I also asked NWEA and oddly, they referred me to the SPS Advanced learning office - surely they have this data with a larger n than our district.

If they don't have reliability data - they really have no grounds to use this test to screen for anything - correct?

Dorothy Neville said...

Nancy, see this and this and this to understand more about the uses of MAP and falling on swords.

nancy said...

Thanks Dorothy,

this is a little frightening, particularly as he's now screened out (using MAP) 1/3 of the K class who applied to take the COGAT (I don't know how to capitalize that) evidently without data? They do have some data files - do you think there is reliability data in there? How can it be unreasonable that they share this?

Zebra (or Zulu) said...

Helen Schinske: "In the case of the MAP, each test is unique and not written down, so you can't access it."

No Helen this is not correct. Each test question has a coded identifier, which is displayed on-screen. When a question comes up with incorrect information or no appropriate answer (i.e. all choices are incorrect, or off-screen, or truncated) the proctor writes the identifier code down and reports it to SPS who forward it to NWEA.

If there is an unusually high number of "bad" questions on one or several tests (10% of questions) you can take the test over. The proctors I know write down the identifier and the test question with its incorrect answers. They submit the whole package to SPS and keep a record of the interaction should a score need to be appealed. Appeal is especially important when the test is used to make placement decisions.

So, if you really wanted to check the validity of a MAP test all you need to do is write down the identifier codes for a few students and request through FERPA to see that child's questions. This is proactive, rather than reactive to a poor outcome, but a useful exercise. I have personally seen 34 "bad" questions come up in one test session (27 students). Of those, 4 students had more than 10% of questions which were "bad." I instructed the proctors to restart the test each time a "bad" question arose.

Helen - I know you have on occasion been a great defender of this test, but please don't spread uninformed misinformation to the public. You can access the test questions. You just have to do a little work out front.

"Okay, but how many kids are old hands with Scantron forms? I can't see how it's any worse. If anything, testing on the computer seems rather child-friendly to me." Helen Schinske

hschinske said...

So, if you really wanted to check the validity of a MAP test all you need to do is write down the identifier codes for a few students and request through FERPA to see that child's questions.

Fair enough, but as far as I can tell from what you're saying, there is still no way that people can make a FERPA request after their child has been tested and expect to see the questions, which is the situation that udubgrad asked about. I never said that no one could see any of the test questions under any circumstances.

Helen - I know you have on occasion been a great defender of this test, but please don't spread uninformed misinformation to the public. You can access the test questions. You just have to do a little work out front.

I have actually been very careful not to defend the test as such. I have said, and still say, that the KIND of test it is could be valuable in some applications, if it were well written and normed, but that I don't personally have evidence to show that it's good or bad.

None of us has encyclopedic knowledge of these issues such that we have nothing to learn or believe nothing that is incomplete or untrue. The point is to pool that information so as to get closer to the truth. Part of the reason I say what I think to be the truth loudly, repeatedly, and with my name attached, is SO THAT I will get corrected if it is wrong.

Helen Schinske

Maureen said...

Our test administrator (or whatever they are calling the school level person) told me that they won't (don't have to?) show you the questions because they are still actively being used to test kids. I.e., they would only have to show you the questions after they are no longer being used. (I asked because my 7th grader saw the same non fiction reading selection three separate times in the same fifty question test and also had to interpret three sonnets - all by Shakespeare. Those seemed like bugs to me, but the admin said it was normal.)

I'm opting the kid out of the Winter test.

Zebra (or Zulu) said...


Who says you can't access your child's assessments? You must do the FERPA, then do the appeal, then set a precedent so all the other parents in the District can do the same. Somebody has to make the first move. Teacher's cannot! Parents can! It takes stamina, and anger to defeat the "it's proprietary" argument NWEA will forward. In the end you will win. It's tested case law.

Maureen...do what I did...teach Shakespeare. Even if the kids are in 5th grade or 6th grade or 8th grade. The Shakespeare questions are designed to emulate a "Classical" education environment. Think Sonnets...

Remember, there is NOTHING proprietary in your child's education. A classroom and a school is an open book. Also remember, we are spending "The People's Money" when we teach your kids. It is YOUR classroom, not MGJ's.

hschinske said...


"Where test “protocols” are meant to refer to test instruments or question booklets that do not identify a student or that do not contain personally identifiable information, such documents are not considered “education records” under FERPA. See 34 CFR §99.3. “Personally identifiable information.”

"In contrast, completed test instruments or question booklets containing information that identify a particular student, whether or not the actual name of the student appears on the booklet, constitute “education records” subject to the FERPA requirements. Therefore, in cases where an answer sheet is directly related to the student and is separate from the question booklet not directly related to a student, only the answer sheet would be considered an education record under FERPA. In cases where a question booklet that includes both the questions and the student’s responses, the question booklet is an education record subject to FERPA."

So FERPA does not necessarily apply to test questions. I'm agnostic about whether it should apply to MAP or not. I would be adamantly against its applying to a test such as the CogAT, where confidentiality is crucial.

Incidentally, I have made FERPA requests more than once to get test data, including viewing my daughters' WASL tests one year.

Helen Schinske

nancy said...

"So, if you really wanted to check the validity of a MAP test all you need to do is write down the identifier codes for a few students and request through FERPA to see that child's questions."

This is validity with an "n" of about 4 data points. NWEA must have validity/reliability data for thousands of data points. In fact, I'd be shocked if they could sell their product without that data. Why is it not available to parents/administrators? If the data was robust - don't you think they would actually use it as a sales tool?

Robyn said...

Here we go again. I asked my K daughter if she had math or PE today. She said neither since the "big kids" are taking MAP again. Didn't they just finish? :) My poor kid was starting to like Library as much as PE and now she can't go for 3(?) more weeks!

Jessica Spencer said...

I just posted a more succinct version of this info here: How to opt out of the MAP® test --sp.