In praise of the MAP testMarch 29, 2013
In January, the parents in Phil’s kindergarten class got an email from a fellow parent. She told us that a standardized test called MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) would be administered soon, but that we had the right to opt out. She included links to a couple of anti-MAP blog entries.
Not knowing anything about the MAP beyond this one parent’s views, and not being big boat-rockers in general, Phil’s mom and I ignored the opt-out option and promptly forgot about the test until this week, when his scores came back.
According to the MAP, Phil is about average in reading and well above average in math. That’s what I would have guessed, but it’s nice to have an independent confirmation.
The results came with reading sub-scores for Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Concepts of Print, Vocabulary & Word Structure, Comprehension, and Writing. Phil’s Comprehension score was “LoAvg” (21st to 40th percentile), so it was suggested that we ask more questions when reading with him — certainly a reasonable suggestion.
The math sub-scores were for Problem Solving, Number Sense, Computation, Measurement & Geometry, Statistics & Probability … and Algebra.
Algebra? The class I took in 8th grade?
Phil was rated “High” in all of the math subcategories, including Algebra, so I decided to explore the validity of the test by giving Phil my best approximation of a kindergarten-level Algebra problem.
“I’m thinking of a number,” I said. “You don’t know what that number is, so we’ll call it X. But what if I told you that X plus 2 equaled 3? Would you know what X was then?”
Phil thought for a moment, then correctly answered that X was 1.
He struggled with “X minus 6 equals 2,” but eventually solved that one too.
Maybe Algebra really IS taught in kindergarten these days!