Merrill schools use MAPS testing - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Merrill schools use MAPS testing


 By Anna Carrera - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MERRILL (WAOW) -- Number two pencils are no longer a requirement for standardized testing in Merrill. Now, all you need is a computer. 

Students took the MAPS tests for the first time in the fall and this week the second round of testing starts up at the middle school.

"I know how they took it in the fall," said middle school math teacher Becky Rindt. "I know how they did and now I can take what they did today and compare immediately how much they've grown."

Basically, the test gives tougher questions if you answer correctly. And it goes the other way -- if you answer incorrectly the questions get easier. District leaders said this new method works better because you see instant results. In the past, they sometimes waited months.

The software gives teachers a better understanding of where students rank with their peers. And they can see where students need extra help.

"By looking at all that data, we'll get a much more complete picture of where that student is which will then allow us to build these plans to build proficiency," said Merrill School District Director of Curriculum Carole Witt Starck

And parents benefit too. The district decided not to give out results from the first round of tests, since there would be nothing to compare it to. But by the middle of February, parents will find out how their kids stack up based on the fall and winter tests.

"It gives parents a much greater idea of how their children are doing at school and it opens up conversations there," said Witt Starck.

Teachers said this will help them tailor lesson plans, which should help make test scores higher the next time around. By getting this information three times a year, they will have a better chance of helping students when they need it most.

"I can get this feedback today and go on the computer tomorrow and analyze their data," said Rindt. "I can take that into my classroom and know the areas where students are exceeding and know the areas they maybe need a little more work."

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

Powered by Frankly