District Assessment

Lexile Scores
MAP Glossary
MAP Parent Info
MAP Typical Growth
Other Assessment

Lexile Explained
MAP Testing
RIT Explained

 Lexile Scores
The Lexile Framework is a tool for looking at a reader's achievement in relation to the difficulty of specific texts. For example, given three books, The Cat in the Hat, Charlotte's Web, and Ivanhoe, you would easily be able to sequence these in terms of difficulty. However, given Harriet the Spy, Little House on the Prairie, and The Boy Scout Manual, the task becomes a bit more difficult. The Lexile Framework handles this for you. By the same token, readers can be ordered by their achievement, and there are many methods, formal and informal, for accomplishing this.

Until now, there has never been a way to put the two together - measuring readers and text using the same scale. The Lexile Framework provides a single scale that can be used for targeting readers with text that provides an appropriate challenge.

When readers are reading material at their appropriate Lexile level, they will comprehend the material at the rate of 75%. When a student reads material 250 Lexile points above his or her level, comprehension drops to 50%. When a student reads material 250 Lexile points below his or her level, comprehension increases to 90%.

The Lexile Framework affords the teacher and parent a useful tool for programming success into the reader's experience. When readers read well-targeted texts, they report confidence, competence, and control of the text. When teachers listen to readers read targeted text aloud, they report that the reader comprehends what he or she is reading. By predicting the match of readers to books, the Lexile Framework can locate the level at which a student is being challenged by exposure to new vocabulary and concepts without being frustrated. This match between readers and books is the reading level at which reading practice will promote maximum development.

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Q: What are Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)?
A. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) are computerized adaptive tests that measure your student's general knowledge in reading, language usage, and mathematics. Your student will take MAP beginning in second grade and again every year through grade 7.

Q. Do All Students Take the Same Test?
A. Yes and no. All students take a computerized reading and mathematics test. Although every test has questions covering the same goal areas, not every test has the same questions, and the test questions vary in difficulty.

In a computerized adaptive test, the difficulty of the test is adjusted to the student's performance so each student sees different test questions. The difficulty of each question is based on how well the student has answered the questions up to that point. As the student answers correctly, the questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier.

Q. What Do the Tests Cover?
A. Each Measure of Academic Progress is made up of parts, which are called goals. Take a look at these goal areas for each test. Your student will take tests with the goals listed below.

  • Reading
  • Word Analysis/Vocabulary
  • Reading Strategies/Comprehension
  • Literature
  • Literary Works


  • Number Sense
  • Measurement
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Data Analysis and Probability

When you, your student, and your student's teacher look at MAP results, it may become apparent that certain goal areas need more attention than others.

Q. What are Measures of Academic Progress Used For?
A. They measure your student's progress, or growth, in school. You may have a chart in your home on which you mark you student's height at certain times such as on their birthday. This is a growth chart. It shows how they've grown from one year to the next.

Measures of Academic Progress do the same sort of thing, except they measure your student's growth in reading, language usage, and mathematics skills.

Q. How Do the Tests Measure Growth in Learning?
A. The Measures of Academic Progress use scores to measure growth in reading, language usage, and mathematics. Scores depend on two things: how many questions are answered correctly and the difficulty of each question.

Q. How Important are the Tests to Students and to Teachers?
A. These tests are important because they keep track of progress or growth in the basic skills. They let teachers know where students' strengths are and if help is needed in any specific areas. MAP is just one look at how students are doing. Teachers already routinely assign projects and tasks, administer other tests, discuss student work, and report grades. These are all very important ways of looking at student progress.

Q. Can Your Student Prepare for MAP?
A. The best thing your student can do to prepare for testing is to work hard in school every day. Regular attendance, good nutrition, and adequate rest are also important components for successful test performance.

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 MAP Glossary
CBM stands for curriculum-based measurement and involves assessing students' fluency in reading passages, computing, spelling words, and in writing sentences.

DIBELS stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. DIBELS are measures of students' understanding that words are made up of sounds and that sounds can be associated with written letters.

Lexile is a score that helps identify reading material that is at an appropriate difficulty level for an individual student. When a student reads material within his or her Lexile range, that student should read with 75% comprehension.

MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress (computer-administered tests that result in a RIT score).

Norm-referenced tests compare student performance to that of other students nationwide. They show where students stand in relation to their peers, not to a defined standard of achievement.

Percentile and percentage: "Percentage" is about the number of questions answered correctly; "percentile" is about ranking a student in comparison to other students in the same grade or age group. For example, if a student answered 8 out of 10 ten questions correctly, then the student's percentage would be 80%. If that same student's percentile score is at the 70% percentile, that student scored higher than 70% of the students who took the test.

RIT stands for Rasch Unit scale and is named after the developer of the scale, George Rasch. The RIT scale score shows a student's current achievement level along the curriculum scale.

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 MAP Parent Information
District 86 uses different measures to chart your child's educational progress. This web page describes MAP, or Measures of Academic Progress, which is one way we measure your child's educational progress. MAP is a computerized adaptive assessment. It assesses each student on an individual basis, with each new question based on the student's previous response. Students in grades 2-7 take reading tests in the fall, winter and spring. Students in grades 6-7 also take the math test at the same time. However, no single test can give a full accounting of your child's knowledge and skills. Each test that we use provides one part of the whole picture.

The RIT Score:

A RIT score for your child is earned in each subject area and is a measure of individual achievement. As students take MAP over a period of time, the RIT scores will also be a measure of academic growth.

Just as a doctor has a chart showing the most common height of people at certain ages, the chart below shows "typical" scores for students in grades 2-8 who are tested in the fall and in the spring. For example, an average 4th grader would get a RIT score of 201 in reading in the fall of the year.

The chart also shows typical growth. If a 4th grader's score in the fall is 201 in reading, that same student would typically score about 208 in the fall of 5th grade.

Chart of Typical Scores - National Norms

Grade Fall Reading Spring Reading Fall Math Spring Math
2 178 190 179 191
3 192 200 193 202
4 201 207 203 211
5 208 212 211 219
6 213 217 218 224
7 217 220 225 229
8 220 223 230 234

The Percentile Score:

The second score that a student earns is the percentile rank. This tells you how your child is doing compared to other students in the same grade. For example, if your 7th grader has a percentile score of 81 in mathematics, your child scores better than 81% of 7th graders, nationally, who have taken MAP.

Goal Areas:

Each MAP is made up of parts, called "goal areas." These are the goal areas for each MAP. You can look at your child's report and see if your child has stronger or weaker areas.

Reading Mathematics

Word Analysis/Vocabulary

Reading Strategies/Comprehension


Literary Works


Number Sense




Data Analysis and Probability

The Lexile Score:

Your child also earns a score called a Lexile score that tells some additional information about your child's reading. The Lexile score is a measure of a student's achievement in reading as it relates to the varying difficulty level of books. If a student has a Lexile score of 1000, for example, then the student should be able to read books that are at about the 1000 level with about 75% comprehension. Books that are more than 50 Lexile points above the student's Lexile score will be challenging for the student, while books more than 100 Lexile points below will be easier, independent material for the student. The Lexile Framework website has more information about the Lexile score.

Growth Picture:

Over the years a table or chart of your child's test scores shows progress or growth.

Each table shows your child's progress in one subject area. Each student's subsequent score from the same time of year (fall-to-fall or spring-to-spring) should be higher on the graph than the previous one. In general, most students show little growth or even slip a little between the previous spring and fall testing and very high performing students tend to show somewhat less growth in scores than lower performing students.

You can also compare your child's score to that of the district average and to an established standard for the grade. However, the real value of the growth table is in tracking the progress of each student whether he or she is achieving at a higher or lower level than other students.

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 MAP Typical Growth
In 2005, the Northwest Evaluation Association conducted a norming study that involved over two million students from more than 790 districts in 32 states.

It is typical that lower performing students on average may have somewhat higher growth than indicated in the table, while students who are higher performing in the fall often show somewhat less growth than suggested here.

The table below shows average typical growth for students who took the test during both seasons.

                                                                     RIT Learning Growth Norms for Grades 2-8

                                         Reading                                      Mathematics                                Language Usage

Ending Grade Fall to Spring Spring to Spring Fall to Spring Spring to Spring Fall to Spring Spring to Spring
2 13.1 n/a 13.9 n/a 14.1 n/a
3 9.1 10.7 10.9 12.0 9.1 10.1
4 6.5  7.5 8.8 9.5 6.3 6.9
5 5.4 6.3 8.7 9.0 5.2 5.6
6 4.3 4.6 7.2 6.1 4.0 3.8
7 3.4 3.7 6.0 6.1 2.9 2.7
8 3.2 3.7 5.2 6.1 2.6 2.7


Also from the 2005 Norming Study: the table below shows the median RIT scores for different grades, fall and spring, for this group.

                                                 National RIT Medians for Grades 2-8

Ending Grade Reading Fall Reading Spring Math Fall Math Spring
2 178 190 179 191
3 192 200 193 202
4 201 207 203 211
5 208 212 211 219
6 213 217 218 224
7 217 220 225 229
8 220 223 230 234

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