Many Studies have shown that students from lower-income families, or poverty-stricken communities, start school behind their proposed grade level. Proficiency-based assessment tracks student growth compared with their grade level. As students from lower-income communities start late they are immediately knocked to the underside of their grade-level’s percentile. For many this puts them at a disadvantage, allowing them no opportunity to catch up. Proficiency-based assessments become a hindrance in these cases as they cannot track individual student growth. Students who are in the bottom percentile of their grade level often drop out, and never attend college. In order to catch up such students have to cram more than a year’s worth of advancement into a single school year. The deck remains firmly stacked against them.
The NWEA measures of academic process, or MAP, pays attention to the individual student regardless of their starting point. Using MAP provides students the growth data necessary to pinpoint curriculum that allows them to catch up to their contemporaries. The system uses growth points to track the students achievement, measuring how far they have come. This is why Rocketship education has been using it since their founding in 2006.
Rocketship education is a network of non-profit elementary charter school focused on helping lower-income communities receive quality education and the attention they need. They use MAP to build individual student curriculum, which allows students to have content to their growth areas. This is just another way the California-based Corporation assists disadvantaged communities, by leveling the playing field so students can excel. Rocketship education is teacher-led, with educators working closely with parents. At Rocketship the parent’s involvement with their children’s education is paramount. Parents are allowed full view of their child’s MAP scores, allowing them to focus on areas of improvement just like the teachers. Together they insure that students stay on the same pace as their grade level. No student is left behind, as all are given the opportunity to catch up.