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Local educators MAP use of assessments to peers

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By The Staff

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - When administrators with the Bullitt County Public School System strongly encouraged superintendent Keith Davis to consider changing its assessment program, there was some concern.

    Mainly, a price tag of about $180,000.

    But at the end of its first year, Davis is glad the district’s school board approved the change.

    And several dozen educators from around the state came to Bullitt County on Friday to see what had been done locally.

    For Rob Johnson, a representative with Northwest Evaluation Association, the work done so far has been nothing short of amazing.

    “The work locally is phenomenal,” said Johnson, who helped to implement the process in Bullitt County. “They have done so much in the first year.”

    In looking at the displays presented by each of the schools, Johnson said he could tell that the teachers and the students at each school really understood the importance of the test data.

    The statewide conference, hosted by Roby Elementary, came educators an opportunity to hear how Bullitt County implemented the MAP assessments.

    Johnson said the teachers must understand how to take the data on each child and use it properly. He knew Bullitt County would see higher test scores in the future.

    Besides having the push from the central office administration, Johnson said making MAP successful to its best usage takes a buy-in from the school staff and students.

    The neat thing about his company is that Johnson said he doesn’t have to sell the MAP program to the local districts. They sell it to each other.

    He is proud of the work Bullitt County has done and plans to use some of the information on display at Roby Elementary for future presentations.

    Gene Kirchner, who gave the main presentation on Friday, said he was very impressed by the works on display.

    “We’re blown away by the work,” said Kirchner, deputy superintendent for the Walton-Verona Independent Schools in Boone County. “What you all have done in less than a year is amazing.”

    He said the students of the county are benefiting from the work put in by everyone in the educational system.

    What is great about MAP is that no matter the size or type of district, Kirchner said the assessment would be actual numbers for each student. It will show areas of weakness and areas of strength.

    Then, teachers are given the opportunity to determine a learning path for each student.

    Davis told the audience of his fears about recommending a change from ThinkLink, an assessment program that the district liked, to MAP. But the superintendent said it was definitely the right decision.

    He said the MAP provides invaluable tools for the teacher to know where the kids are learning and where they might struggle.

    Hosting the MAP seminar was a way to showcase the efforts made locally and Davis said it was important that the instructional coaches received some recognition.