Using Formative Assessment of MAP Data to Shape Instructional Practices


A school district in the Southwestern United States identified gaps in student performance on 3rd grade math standards and implemented the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) provided by the Northwest Evaluation Association so that K-2 teachers might better inform their instruction of math standards. The problem was that the district needed to determine the ways in which MAP has changed formative assessment practices. A qualitative case study was conducted using the 5 components of formative assessments identified by Laud and Patel as a conceptual framework. The research questions asked about how formative assessment of students reflects the 5 components in the framework and the manner in which the formative assessment of data informs the types of professional development of teachers at the campus. Interviews with 7 teachers and 2 administrators and observations of local campus data meetings were collected and analyzed using a combination of open and a-priori coding techniques. Results indicated that some teachers had effectively incorporated some of the critical components of formative assessment, while others held beliefs about students and assessments that prevented them from being effective. Furthermore, most teachers used data other than MAP to assess students partially due to lack of knowledge about MAP. A 3-day professional development (PD) for teachers was created to inform the formative assessment of student data for the campus as the MAP assessments are implemented. Implications for social change include that formative assessment practices developed during the PD can be implemented at the research site, the district, and possibly further, thus improving academic performance and growth, particularly for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds

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