Kansas Assessment Program
The goal of the Kansas assessment program is high student performance on test items derived from the Kansas curricular standards. Kansas curricular standards have been defined for the academic areas tested: mathematics, reading, science, social studies, and writing. It is intended that these standards be important components of local curriculum, instruction, and staff development, as well as the focus of state assessment. When local curriculum goals and objectives, classroom instruction, and staff development include the Kansas curricular standards, which match the Kansas state assessments, then "alignment" is achieved. This alignment is an important part of reaching the goal of higher student performance. The closer the alignment among all components, the more likely that student achievement will rise. Alignment is a process undertaken at the local level. 

As part of alignment of standards, curriculum instruction, staff development, and the state assessment, Spring Hill School District attends to particular elements of the state assessments, such as the:

  • content and processes a given assessment measures
  • item formats, performance assessment format/model, and rubric criteria
  • expectations for what students should know and be able to do as identified in the Kansas curricular standards and the need to incorporate those expectations into the local curriculum
  • instructional methods and classroom activities that support student achievement of the state and local curriculum standards
  • value of having multiple comparable measures which provide an enhanced picture of student performance

In 2010, the Kansas State Department of Education adopted the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards (KCCRS). In addition to being more rigorous than any previous standards, the KCCRS emphasize the need for students not only to know the content being taught, but also to be able to demonstrate their knowledge through their ability to reason and think critically in order to craft solutions to problems.

“Kansas has always performed well academically, but the remediation rates tell us that we need to make sure our students are learning at the depth needed to be academically ready for whatever path they choose after high school,” said Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson. “The shift towards the higher standards is in direct response to the increased demands of the workforce and post-secondary education. We want Kansas students well prepared and through the adoption of higher standards and better academic measures, Kansas schools are meeting that challenge.”

This year marks the first time Kansas students were assessed in English language arts and mathematics using the new Kansas College and Career Ready Academic Assessment developed by the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE) and fully aligned to the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards. Unlike previous assessments, this new computer assessment employs technology-enhanced items that require a student to go beyond simply answering a multiple-choice question. Students were required, for example, to highlight passages of text and plot graphs in order to demonstrate their knowledge and critical thinking skills. Because of the dramatic shift in assessment format as well as the increased rigor, results cannot be compared to any previous assessment. The 2015 results will serve as a benchmark by which to measure future progress. 

For information regarding opting out of Kansas State Assessments, see the State Assessment Opt-Out Form.

MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) 
NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) are state-aligned computerized adaptive assessments that provide accurate, useful information about student achievement and growth. 

NWEA believes in an assessment that:

  • Gives a child the chance for success
  • Students find engaging
  • Respects classroom time
  • Provides useful information

MAP tests provide highly accurate results that can be used to identify the skills and concepts individual students have learned.

  • Diagnose instructional needs
  • Monitor academic growth over time
  • Make data-driven decisions at the classroom, school, and district levels
  • Place new students into appropriate instructional programs

The assessment itself is unique in that it adapts to the student's ability, accurately measuring what a child knows and needs to learn. In addition, MAP tests measure academic growth over time, independent of grade level or age. Most importantly, the results educators receive have practical application to teaching and learning.