Parent Resources

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a non-profit organization that provides Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments for students in grades K-12. MAP assessments are computer-adaptive interim assessments.

Computer adaptive MAP assessments reveal precisely which academic skills and concepts the student has acquired and what they’re ready to learn. MAP assessments are grade independent and adapt to each student’s instructional level. Every item on a MAP assessment is anchored to a vertically aligned equal interval scale, called the RIT scale for Rasch UnIT – a stable measurement, like inches on a ruler, that covers all grades. And because the measurement is reliable and accurate, RIT scores serve as an essential data point in a student’s learning plan; educators can see their precise learning level and respond accordingly.

NWEA assessments adapt according to the student’s response to each question. If the student answers a question correctly, the following questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. The goal of an NWEA test is to provide questions that are difficult enough for the student to answer approximately half the items correctly and half incorrectly. The final score is an estimate of the student’s achievement level, which may be different from the student’s grade level.

MSDWT personnel use these assessments to:

  • Measure academic growth
  • Project proficiency on high-stakes exams (ISTEP+, IREAD-3, ACT)
  • Inform teacher instructional differentiation
  • Select appropriate academic supports for all students
  • Evaluate educational programs
  • Structure curriculum

NWEA Testing

MSDWT students in grades K-10 take NWEA assessments three times each year (Fall, Winter, and Spring). MSDWT Assessment Calendars can be accessed from the Grants & Assessments page.

Understanding Individual Student NWEA Results

After each NWEA testing window closes, MSDWT teachers will send home individual NWEA Student Progress Reports for each student. These reports provide helpful information for parents. Specific items to be considered are reviewed below. This sample report contains sample data to assist with understanding the subject-specific results within the progress report.

Understanding the NWEA Student Progress Report


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Additional Resources

MAP assessments are a useful tool in monitoring student academic performance. While the information provided above is meant to make it easier for parents to interpret student results, MSDWT realizes that parents might be interested in additional information about NWEA MAP assessments. Helpful links to additional resources are listed below: