For a second year, underclassmen take computerized assessments to address pandemic learning impacts

Courtesy+of+Classic+Photography+Department

Courtesy of Classic Photography Department

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Since last year, Townsend Harris High School has asked students to complete the Measure of Academic Progress test, also known as the MAP test. This exam, administered after the DOE spent $36 million on assessments to measure and address pandemic-related disruptions in learning, occurs up to three times a year in the subjects English and math. 

The test itself is a computer-adaptive test, where each test interacts uniquely with students as the questions adjust to their skill level. The tests are untimed, and THHS students generally take them over two periods. If a student chooses incorrectly, they will be given a question at a lower level of difficulty, and the process will continue until the exam can establish what level the student is at. 

“I would argue that it is rather effective,” said math teacher Alica Brea. “Even though it doesn’t give you the most detailed data, it definitely tells you about what you have learned throughout the year and what you have accumulated as opposed to what you had when you began. The system itself is very smooth and innovative.”

The MAP tests do not affect the students’ grades or go on their transcript, rather serving as a tool for teachers to know on which topics to focus or provide extra help. While there are usually topics students are not familiar with, the test discourages guessing and immediately disables the exam if they find a student answering too many questions too quickly.

Sophomore Ava Pusing said that while she does not enjoy the prospect of an exam, “the MAP in general is fair. It doesn’t count towards my grades and the period is chill with everyone working in silence. I wouldn’t say I like it, but I am not against it.”

On the other hand, Freshman Niah Rowe said that she does appreciate the idea behind the MAP test, but “to ask someone to remember everything they have learned and then cram it into a test, saying that it is a measurement of improvement isn’t the way to go about it,” she said. “There is much room for improvement, but that goes for everything.”

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