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Rocketship Education: The Importance of Student Growth Assessments

Tennessee schools are on board with leveraging student growth assessments in order to achieve a successful school year. The new assessment staple, the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is widely used in Tennessee’s public school system. This unique tool gauges individual student growth throughout the year. Metro Nashville Public Schools were dependent on proficiency scores prior to the adoption of the MAP assessment. Proficiency scores, although important, solely demonstrate if a student is performing adequately on grade level, at a particular point. Growth score assessments are much more progressive, as they give teachers a definitive scope into how much knowledge students are retaining over the year, regardless of their current learning level.

MAP assessments successfully are being utilized by over 7,400 vocational institutions around the world. The tool is especially necessary for underserved communities. Nashville benefits from the assessment, being that the majority of its schools are in disadvantaged areas. Underprivileged students often experience a delayed launch vocationally. Once their scholastic journey has begun, it becomes challenging to recover and stay up to par with grade standards. Metro Nashville Public Schools and Director Shawn Joseph implemented the MAP system in public schools across Nashville in 2016. The forward-thinking MAP evaluation was ushered in, under the Rocketship Charter School network.

Rocketship Education is a non-profit network designed to bridge learning gaps for students in under-resourced communities. Rocketship Education was created in 2006 by co-founders, and educators John Danner and Preston Smith. Their flagship location is in Redwood City California. Rocketship has established an infrastructure of public charter schools nationwide. Charter schools are currently in the California Bay area, Nashville, Washington D.C., and Milwaukee. These public charters enforce higher learning that involves measurement, parent involvement, and teacher engagement. The organization is built on three core values; personalized learning, talent development, and parent power. Rocketship is nontraditional in the sense that its students (coined as Rocketeers) are engaged in four content blocks daily. Humanities, Learning Lab, Enrichment, and STEM-which are the core subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Their model develops individuals into well-rounded students. MAP student growth assessments are vital in today’s world of education. The assessment, paired with Rocketship Education continuously ensure that students are in a position to successfully reach their educational goals.