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Missouri Schools Using CTB's Acuity Assessment Show Significant Improvements on MAP Test Scores
Nov 11, 2010 (03:11 PM EST)

Schools have shown a 5-10% jump in scores year-over-year

MONTEREY, Calif., Nov. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- CTB/McGraw-Hill's Acuity® InFormative Assessment™ system has been in use in 50 Missouri school districts for more than four years. Test data now provides evidence that schools incorporating Acuity as a component of their assessment and intervention system show significant increases in achievement on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP). The latest data, from the 2009-2010 school year, shows that districts using Acuity are commonly reporting improvements in MAP scores of 5 -10% over the year, with some schools showing even greater progress.

The Aurora School District (, which serves more than 2,000 rural K-12 students, has experienced impressive improvements in MAP scores since implementing Acuity in 2008. For example, results in 5th grade mathematics showed that students scoring at the "proficient" and "advanced" levels increased from 42% to 60% from 2009 to 2010. Similarly, results in 5th grade communications arts showed an improvement of 47% to 53% at the proficient/advanced levels.

"Acuity gives us the ability to measure student progress relative to the MAP, and allows us to adjust instruction in areas where students need assistance," said Dr. Shawn Page, Principal at the Robinson Intermediate School in the Aurora District. "We use a systematic approach – an intervention system that gives students the help they need within 24 hours."

"Using data from Acuity, students across the entire grade are frequently placed into small groups based on what is being taught, the student's ability and learning preferences, and the teacher's area of strength," continued Dr. Page. "By regularly regrouping students, they receive instruction targeted to their needs, delivered in a mode that suits their learning preferences, while being instructed by the educator best suited for the task. Teachers also benefit by learning first-hand how to use assessment results to drive instruction - and are able to generate instructional material and additional assessments based directly on Acuity data."

"The important thing to remember is that Acuity is a tool that lets us see where our students are struggling, so that we can respond when they don't learn," added Dr. Page. "We always say that without data, all you have is an opinion – and Acuity provides an important piece of the data."

The Park Hill School District (, an urban district serving more than 10,000 students in the Kansas City area, has been using Acuity since 2006. Park Hill has also experienced impressive improvements in MAP scores since implementing Acuity. At Park Hill, example results in 7th grade communications arts showed that students scoring at the "proficient" and "advanced" levels increased from 65% to 70% from 2009 to 2010. Similarly, results in 7th grade mathematics showed an improvement of 65% to 72% at the proficient/advanced levels.

"Our state test scores have improved since we began using Acuity, and I am confident that Acuity has facilitated the improvement of our instruction," said Dr. Mike Kimbrel, Director of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment at the Park Hill School District. "Acuity has also enhanced our ability to emphasize growth rather than just the end-of-year score."

"Furthermore, Acuity has helped teachers move from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning," added Dr. Kimbrel. "Our teachers are constantly using Acuity data to make important instructional decisions. As a result, our teachers are not only more knowledgeable about Missouri's standards, but can also measure progress toward proficiency on these standards."

The MAP is Missouri's criterion-referenced state assessment. Required of all public school students from grades 3-8, the MAP is used to determine Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in communications arts, mathematics, and science.

More than 50 districts in Missouri have adopted Acuity to accelerate student achievement and growth on the MAP. Known for its valid and reliable predictive and diagnostic assessments, ability to track and forecast growth, detailed reporting, and resources for individual instruction and intervention, Acuity has become the foundation for driving the growth required of districts.

About Acuity

The groundbreaking Acuity InFormative Assessment solution helps teachers gauge student performance and deliver tailored instruction for every student. Used by more than 65,000 teachers and 1.5 million students nationwide, Acuity heralds a new generation of assessment, enabling educators to deliver true data-driven instruction. Acuity contains four elements of a comprehensive assessment system: ongoing skills measurement, in-depth reporting, data analysis, and resources for individual instruction and intervention. CTB/McGraw-Hill also offers comprehensive professional development, online community forums, implementation, and support services. Acuity won the CODiE award in 2009 and 2010 for Best Student Assessment Solution and is recognized by Outsell Research as a "rising star" in their 2009 K-12 Testing and Assessment Review. For more information, visit or call 800.538.9547 to schedule a live presentation.

About CTB/McGraw-Hill

CTB/McGraw-Hill has an 84-year record of innovation and excellence in assessment, and serves more than 18 million students in all 50 states and in 46 countries. One of the first American publishers to introduce objective, standardized achievement tests to schools, today CTB/McGraw-Hill is a leader in testing with recognized products for online formative, adult, and language proficiency assessment. Dedicated to advancing the use of student performance data to inform instructional decision making, CTB/McGraw-Hill's innovation continues today with technologies that include Web-based assessment and reporting, student response device (clicker) software, and artificial intelligence for automated scoring of student essays. CTB/McGraw-Hill is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP). McGraw-Hill Education is a leading global provider of instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. For more information, visit

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Editor's Note:  Aurora data is derived from using data from the prof/adv column. Park Hill data is derived from using data from the prof/adv column.