Learning statements in RIT bands above or below the expected grade level mean

Document created by Community User on Oct 26, 2017Last modified by Community User on Oct 26, 2017
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Why do learning statements associated with a grade show up in RIT bands that are above or below the grade level mean? Why are students scoring at the grade mean RIT getting learning statements in the learning continuum that are above or below their grade?

This happens when the concept or skill is cognitively more simple or complex relative to the grade level.


Reading time on a digital clock first appears in the 131-140 RIT band. This RIT band correlates to the Kindergarten mean RIT, even though this skill isn't introduced until grade 1. This is likely because reading a digital clock is a relatively simple skill.

Common Core introduces symmetry at grade 4, but many of the items about line symmetry appear in the learning continuum well below the 4th grade norm RIT because the concept is relatively simple and students often encounter it informally in earlier grades.

The learning statement "Uses the future progressive verb tense" is related to a 4th grade Common Core standard; however, it appears in the learning continuum below the grade level mean RIT for 4th grade. This is because students find some future progressive verb items relatively simple. They readily know, for example, that a verb phrase such as "will be working" describes an action that might happen tomorrow, whereas "work" describes an action happening today.

What's the best way to use the Learning Continuum when it shows learning statements above or below what we'd expect from the grade level mean RIT?

The purpose of the learning continuum is to help teachers use students' RIT scores to inform instruction. The RIT level of a particular skill should be considered relative to the student's RIT score in that goal. If a skill falls below the RIT norm for the grade level, students with goal scores below the grade level norm may need additional time and instruction to understand these concepts. Students scoring at or above grade level norms may be able to move through these cognitively simpler concepts faster. Likewise, if a given skill has a RIT score above the grade level norm, students performing at or below grade level may need additional time and support to master the skill.

Remember that NWEA’s grade-level norms simply reflect the mean of students’ scores, and many students perform well above and well below those norms. MAP Growth is designed to reach students at all performance levels; thus, a student performing above or below grade-level norms may still encounter items that assess on-grade skills, just at a simpler or more difficult level. This closely matches typical classroom practice, as teachers differentiate content for such students.

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