Personalizing Academic Progress


“The time and energy we put into MAP testing is important for our outcome areas. Even though one assessment cannot tell us all a students knows, MAP allows us to gather data points that help point to student strengths and needs so we can better plan our time in learning each week. This allows us to focus in our Learning Labs and support our tutors with resources to best serve each individual student in our JustLead program.” Lindsay McNeely, Program Developer - JustLead Ministry

Emerald Youth’s JustLead program is not only committed to spiritual and leadership development, but also academic. That’s why we offer MAP testing for elementary and middle school youth.

MAP is an acronym for Measures of Academic Progress. The test is a nationwide computer adaptive exam that extends to more than 8 million students. The questions asked throughout the exam are unique to each student. It begins each student at their grade level and adjusts accordingly until it measures an average grade level at which the student is consistently scoring.

Through former map testing scores of JustLead youth, we found that 62% met the target growth in at least one subject during fall 2018 - spring 2019. A target growth score is the estimated growth that a student should receive on the next test which shows that a student is progressing at a consistent rate. This assessment is used as a support tool to help us determine how we can support and grow the students in our after-school programs through our JustLead Learning Labs.

These results help our staff know more about each individual students’ academic progress. With this information, they are able to assist and tutor the kids where it is most needed for them. We also conclude the academic year with another MAP assessment to determine progress. Last year, 83% of our JustLead participants saw improvement in math and reading. MAP shows us particular strands in math and reading that we can use as a focus during our Learning Lab time in program. It allows us to set individual goals for our youth to meet their particular needs. Our goal is to use the data to provide support and academic enrichment each week, to target students’ strengths and needs, and to support what they are learning in school.

Your generous support of Emerald Youth Foundation makes MAP testing, so much more possible, with our city’s young people – thank you!


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Brooke VanderSteeg