Do MAP Growth RIT scores remain consistent regardless of the test version or standards?

Document created by Community User on Oct 31, 2017
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Question
Do MAP Growth RIT scores remain consistent regardless of the test version or standards?

Answer
In brief: Yes, RIT scores should remain consistent when you change test versions or standards, assuming the students are receiving instruction in the standards to which the test is aligned.

Before we get into more detail, it is important to make certain we understand what a RIT represents, as that often confuses this conversation.

 
What does a RIT score represent?

We tend to think about a RIT score from a content perspective—and there is value in this—but a RIT score really represents the difficulty level of items a student can answer correctly about 50% of the time. It’s that point between what a student appears to know and not know. Of course, the caveat here is that a RIT score represents the difficulty level of items with which students can engage relative to the content they are being taught and relative to content being assessed on the test students are taking.

 
How RIT relates to content

So, if we think about a score of 200 for a 4th grader taking the MAP Growth 2-5 test compared to a score of 200 for a 6th grader taking the MAP Growth 6+ test, those two scores are comparable – the students are correctly responding to items of similar difficulty (at the 200 level) – but what those scores represent in terms of content is different, as the 4th grader is being taught different content compared to the 6th grader, and the 2-5 test and the 6+ test are assessing different content based on the standards to which they are aligned.

 
RIT scores and standards

These same principles apply to schools that transition to new assessments that are aligned to a different set of standards. The scores students receive represent the difficulty levels of items they can get correct about 50% of the time relative to what they are taught and what is being assessed. This means we shouldn’t see substantive changes in RIT scores simply because a student transitions to a test aligned to a different set of standards (because all of our tests are aligned to the same difficulty scale, the RIT scale). However—and this is important to consider—we might see changes in student performance moving from one test to another not because of the transition to the new test aligned to the new standards, but because of how smoothly (or not) a school or district is able to transition to teaching the new set of standards being assessed.

If that transition goes smoothly, or if there aren’t substantive differences between the old and new set of standards, this likely won’t be an issue. However, if the new set of standards is substantively different, or if the way these concepts and skills are taught is new and different (as was the case in the transition to the Common Core standards), then there might be situations where we see some differences in student scores that reflect classroom challenges during this transition. But, that isn’t a function of the particular test – a RIT is still a RIT – as it is a transition to teaching the new set of standards (which the new test is measuring).

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