DESE cuts MAP-scoring program for teachers
A summer program that allowed teachers to score the Missouri Assessment Program exam has been cut for 2009.
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education officials learned the program would be cut in late January. Revenues for the year fell shorter than expected and the department had to make a tough decision, said Michael Muenks, DESE's coordinator of curriculum and assessment.
Scoring took place every summer during weeklong sessions at 12 scoring sites around the state. Muenks said the program was an excellent professional-development opportunity and the decision to eliminate it was a difficult one. He hopes that it will return in future years.
"It was not a decision that was easily come at," Muenks said. "There was much angst about it."
Even though the program was in-state, it was costly, Muenks said. Participating teachers received stipends for the weeklong experience, scoring leaders had to be flown for training out-of-state and many participants had to stay in hotels, he said.
"There are all kinds of costs associated with it that have nothing to do with the actual scoring," Muenks said.
Pam Clifton, of West St. Francois Co. R-4, was disappointed to learn the program was cut. Clifton participated in scoring and has helped to write items for the MAP. The scoring program allows teachers to understand how the MAP is graded and which student responses are acceptable.
The cut is especially disappointing because so much emphasis is placed on how a teacher's students perform on the test, Clifton said.
"The one thing that truly helps the teachers now is no longer available," said Clifton, a communication arts teacher at West County Middle. "It's first hand knowledge of the test."
Despite the cut, there will be few changes to the scoring of most MAP exams. Only 5 percent of MAP exams were scored in-state by teachers, Muenks said. The rest were sent to CTB, a division of The McGraw-Hill Co., for scoring. The cut will mean that the company will score all MAP tests.
Muenks said he was hopeful that the program could return in 2010, even if it is scaled down from 12 sites.
To read DESE's statement on the in-state scoring program, visit dese.mo.gov/divimprove/assess/.