PORTLAND, Ore., June 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- NWEA, the not-for-profit provider of assessment solutions, has been awarded two grants totaling $4.5 million to support the creation of innovative assessment solutions designed to provide educators with deeper, more useful information to enhance teaching and learning. The grants were received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
The grants will fund the curation, development and testing of new standards-aligned content for NWEA's MAP Growth assessment, including the expansion of item types to include new ways to measure learning. The grant funding will also support an exploration in how NWEA can better leverage external partnerships to deliver connected learning solutions that make it easier for teachers to connect MAP results to their teaching in the classroom.
In support of this work, NWEA is collaborating with Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving student achievement, to ensure that MAP assessment content across subject areas and grade levels is aligned to college and career-ready standards at both the item and test level.
"The availability of high-quality, standards-aligned instructional resources is critical to raising student success and narrowing the achievement gap in the United States," said Sue Pimentel, Founding Partner of Student Achievement Partners. "We are pleased to be working with NWEA to support its commitment in developing innovative assessments that are aligned to the college- and career-ready standards that are the foundation for rigorous classroom instruction for all students."
"We are honored that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation believe in our mission and are supporting efforts to enhance MAP Growth and expand its utility," said Chris Minnich, CEO of NWEA. "This work will help us empower teachers with stronger, more instructionally relevant data that will help them strengthen instruction and improve learning outcomes for every student."
MAP Growth provides a precise measure of a student's academic performance and growth. A computer-adaptive assessment, it adjusts to each student's responses to provide personalized results about what each student knows, is able to do, and is ready to learn next— whether on, above, or below grade level. Beginning this fall, MAP Growth Math and Reading assessments will include both English and Spanish versions. MAP Growth, MAP Skills, and MAP Reading Fluency comprise the MAP Suite from NWEA, a comprehensive assessment system with multiple ways to utilize assessment to improve instruction.
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
About the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is a global organization that seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities and reduce inequality. Our philanthropic vision is grounded in a commitment to pursue justice, repair the world and treat all people with dignity and civility. We invest in efforts to improve public education in the United States, strengthen the Jewish people and Israel, and address the needs of marginalized individuals and communities.
NWEA® is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency— and provide insights to help tailor instruction. For more than 40 years, NWEA has developed innovative Pre-K–12 assessments, professional learning that fosters educators' ability to accelerate student learning, and research that supports assessment validity and data interpretation. Educators in more than 10,000 schools, districts, and education agencies in 141 countries rely on our flagship interim assessment, MAP® Growth™; our progress monitoring and skills mastery tool, MAP® Skills™; and our reading fluency and comprehension assessment, MAP® Reading Fluency™.