MAP Overview

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) mandates that the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test be administered to all students in each district throughout the state in the spring of each year. In response to the Outstanding Schools Act of 1993, Senate Bill 380 (Appendix A), the State Board of Education directed the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (the Department) to identify the knowledge, skills, and competencies that Missouri students should acquire by the time they complete high school and to assess student progress toward those academic standards. The Department worked with teachers, school administrators, parents, and business professionals from throughout the state, first to craft the standards and later to develop means by which to assess them.

End of Course Exams    
DESE requires the MAP End of Course (EOC) Assessments for Algebra I, English II, Biology I, and Government. These assessments will be given to students enrolled in the courses teaching similar content and skills. These tests are not specific to any grade level, but rather to course content.  Students taking Algebra I, Geometry or Algebra II in middle school will take the EOC exam for that course while they are enrolled in the course.  The state provided testing window this Spring is February 22, 2016 - May 27, 2016. Each school will set their testing window.


The Show-Me Standards

The Show-Me Standards depart from the “Key Skills” established by the Excellence in Education Act of 1985 by requiring students not only to acquire knowledge but to be able to communicate and to apply their knowledge in a variety of settings. While the Show-Me Standards do not represent everything a student will or should learn, graduates who meet these standards should be well prepared for further education, work, and civic responsibilities.


Missouri Frameworks for Curriculum Development

Curriculum frameworks were mandated by The Outstanding Schools Act to provide guidance to districts in planning curricula designed to ensure that students attain the knowledge, skills, and competencies designated by the Show-Me Standards. The curriculum frameworks are not intended to constitute a statewide curriculum. Rather, each provides a model for curriculum development that school districts may choose to use if it fits their local needs. The curriculum frameworks for each of the six content areas include:

  • An overview of education in Missouri in that content area
  • A listing of what students should know and be able to do at the elementary, middle and high school levels
  • Suggested learning activities to develop pertinent knowledge and skills
  • Discussion of relevant educational issues and practices

Assessment Annotations for the Curriculum Frameworks show what is “fair game” for assessment in each subject area at the ”benchmark” grade levels designated for statewide assessment. Curriculum frameworks and assessment annotations are available through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Curriculum Services Section at (573) 751-2625 or (573) 751-4608.


Statewide Assessment

The Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) is designed to reflect both the intentions of legislative reforms and what educators believe to be best practice in assessment and instruction. The MAP will assess proficiency in mathematics, science, and communication arts at a statewide level. Communication Arts and Mathematics are assessed at grades 3-8. Science is assessed at grades 5 & 8. Students in high school level courses will take required End of Course assessments in Algebra I, Biology, English II, and Government when they are enrolled in the course that best 


State-level subject area assessments are comprised of three types of items: multiple-choice items, constructed response items and performance events. The Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education initially plans to administer one form in each designated grade level per year and to release some constructed-response items and performance events for schools to use for instructional or local assessment purposes.


Multiple-choice items present students with a question followed by four or five response options, one of which is correct. The advantages of these items are: 1) They are effective in measuring students’ breadth of content knowledge; and 2) A large number of these items can be administered and scored in a short amount of time. The major limitation of multiple-choice items is that they do not adequately measure students’ ability to apply what they know. The survey portion of Terra Nova, a nationally norm-referenced test developed by CTB/McGraw-Hill, will be used as the multiple-choice component of the MAP in mathematics, communication arts, and science.


Constructed response items require students to supply (rather than select) an appropriate response. Students might be asked to provide a one-word answer, complete a sentence or show their work in solving a problem. In addition to measuring students’ content knowledge, constructed-response items can provide some information about how students arrived at their answers. These items are more time consuming than multiple-choice items to administer and score; however, they provide more information about students’ understanding and thinking.


Performance events measure students’ knowledge, and their ability to apply that knowledge in problem situations. The performance events used in MAP may require students to work through a complex problem or present a written argument. Depending upon its demands, students might be expected to take up to 45 minutes to complete a performance event. Performance events generally allow for more than one approach to arriving at a correct solution. The advantage of this type of assessment item is that it provides insight into students’ ability to apply knowledge and understanding in various situations. The disadvantage is that performance events are time-consuming and costly to produce, administer, and score.


MAP Tests Administered (Grade Level Assessments and End Of Course Exams)


Subject Grades Tested
Mathematics 3-8
Communication Arts 3-8
Science 5, 8
Social Studies Tested in EOC only
End of Course Algebra I, Biology, English II, Government


Inclusion in the State Assessment

Local school districts will account for all students enrolled in their school district at the time of the MAP administration. This accounting is accomplished by reporting all enrolled students in one of the following categories:

  • Participating in the MAP or, if appropriate, a portion of the MAP under standard conditions.
  • Participating in the MAP or, if appropriate, a portion of the MAP with accommodations that have been approved by DESE for the specific content area being assessed.
  • Participating in the MAP Alternate Assessment based upon the Show-Me Standards; and
  • Not participating in MAP or the Alternate Assessment due to extended absence from school or exemption based upon consideration of the student’s LEP or IEP.  

All enrolled students in designated grade levels, except those whose Individual Education Program (IEP) or whose level of English proficiency indicates that such testing is not appropriate, will, where possible, participate in the MAP, either under standard testing conditions or with accommodations.

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