NWEA's MAP(R) Assessments Approved for Blue Ribbon Schools Program

Jun 10, 2010, 07:00 ET from NWEA

PORTLAND, Ore., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Education has announced that it has approved the Northwest Evaluation Association's Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP) assessments for use in the national Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

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The approval means that public and private schools across the nation can use their students' results on NWEA's highly respected MAP assessments to apply to become a Blue Ribbon School, considered the nation's highest honor for elementary and secondary schools.

"We're excited to have our MAP assessment suite become part of the esteemed Blue Ribbon Schools Program," said Matt Chapman, president and CEO of NWEA. "Our school partners have known for years how vital the MAP assessments are in helping their students succeed. The approval by the Blue Ribbon Schools Program validates – on a national level – their long-held faith in the tests."

Since its inception in 1982, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program has fostered school change by shining a focused light on drivers for improvement. It has honored only America's best schools – those that focus on challenging standards and curriculum, and that have an ingrained culture of educational vitality and student, family and teacher support.

A school can become a Blue Ribbon School by scoring in the top 10 percent of schools nationwide on certain nationally normed tests — like NWEA's MAP assessments. It also can become a Blue Ribbon School if at least 40 percent of its students are from disadvantaged backgrounds and it shows dramatically improved student performance in reading and math on state tests or nationally normed tests.

In 2009, 314 public and private schools were named Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

Created by educators for educators, NWEA's MAP assessments are based on more than 30 years of research and refinement. The assessments are currently used in more than 4,200 schools and educational agencies in the United States and around the world.

About the Blue Ribbon Schools Program:

The U.S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement for disadvantaged students. Since its inception in 1982, the program has honored about 4 percent of the nation's public and private elementary and secondary schools. More info: www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html

About NWEA:

NWEA is a global not-for-profit educational services organization with home offices in Portland, Oregon. We partner with educational organizations worldwide to provide computer-based assessment suites, professional development, and research services. We are passionate about our mission: Partnering to help all kids learn.

Our Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) adaptive assessments leverage over 30 years of research into student growth and yield unparalleled data that informs decision making at every level, from classroom to boardroom. We continue to expand curriculum, instruction, and assessment offerings all in a unified system with our vertical scale providing stability and alignment throughout. Our professional development offerings help educators use data to transform outcomes. The Kingsbury Center at NWEA, our research arm, uses our Growth Research Database to drive original research with universities, foundations and policy makers. Learn more at nwea.org.

Contact: Todd Murphy, 503-680-9539