Cutting-edge testing in Massachusetts
Students in Scituate (MA) will take part in next year's Northwest Evaluation Association's (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test, which is not only computerized, but computer-adaptive. It's very interesting to see computer-adaptive testing technology, which has so far been limited to the "big leagues" of testing, being used for these K-12 assessments. Computer-adaptive tests (CATs) can often return reliable assessments with a much shorter testing and scoring time - the students in this case will get their scores in 24 hours. This quick turnaround time in scoring is especially important in the K-12 educational environment, so that teachers can give timely feedback.
The biggest problems with computer-adaptive testing is often security, but for a relatively small-scale, low-stakes exam as this one (although individual scores will be reported, there will not be as much of an incentive to cheat or steal item as in admissions testing situations), the security concerns are somewhat relaxed.