What Does NWEA Stand For in Education?

A lot of people have heard of NWEA, but don’t know what it stands for. Here’s a quick explanation of what NWEA is and what it does.

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NWEA’s History

NWEA started in the 1970s as a research organization called Northwest Evaluation Association. Founded by a group of educators, NWEA’s original focus was on finding new and innovative ways to assess student learning. In the 1980s, NWEA began developing assessments that could be used for instructional purposes. From there, NWEA has grown into the organization it is today, with a mission to help all students learn.

NWEA’s founding in 1997

NWEA was founded in 1997 as a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help all kids learn. Today, we partner with over 7,600 schools worldwide, providing research-based assessments and related services that help educators optimize student learning.

NWEA’s adaptive assessments provide educators with accurate data to inform instruction and personalize learning for each student. Our assessment solutions facilitate formative assessment practices throughout the school year to improve student learning and accelerate academic growth. Used by over 25 million students annually, NWEA MAP assessments are the most widely used formative assessments in the world.

In addition to our assessment solutions, we offer professional development workshops and institutes, as well as an online Master’s degree program in data-informed instruction. Our focus on continuous improvement drives everything we do, and we are committed to helping schools ensure that every child succeeds.

NWEA’s growth and expansion

NWEA’s first two assessments, the Basic Battery and the Instructional Reading Level Battery, were normed in 1976 with over 200,000 students. In 1978, NWEA premiered MAP Growth, our flagship assessment, which today is used by over 10 million students each year. NWEA added science assessments to our product line in 2002, followed by assessments for early learning in 2010. Our latest addition came in 2016 with the launch of MAP Skills, our brand new tool for formative assessment and skill-building.

What NWEA Does

NWEA is a not-for-profit organization that provides research-based assessment solutions for educators. Educators use NWEA assessments to measure student progress and growth, and to tailor instruction to meet each student’s needs. NWEA assessments are used by school districts across the country and around the world.

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NWEA’s assessments

NWEA’s research-based assessments are unique in that they allow educators to tailor instruction to meet the individual needs of each student, rather than teaching to a one-size-fits all “average.” NWEA assessments are flexible and can be given on laptop computers, in paper-pencil format, or even on iPads.

NWEA offers a variety of innovative assessments, including:

-MAP Growth: A computer adaptive test that measures student progress and forecasts future success in order to inform instruction.

-MAP Skills: A skills-based assessment that covers key concepts in grades 3-8 reading and math, including foundational skills for college and career readiness.

– Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) for Primary Grades : An assessment for students in kindergarten through second grade that provides information about early literacy and math skills.

NWEA’s data and research

NWEA provides high-quality data and research that supports educators as they strive to improve learning for all students. We are a nonprofit organization that develops innovative assessments and professional learning resources to help educators ensure all students have the chance to succeed. Our products and services are used by more than 8 million students in 150 countries.

NWEA’s data and research help educators:
-Understand what works in education
-Make informed decisions about instruction
-Measure progress and outcomes
-Communicate with stakeholders

We offer a variety of resources, including:
-Assessments: Our assessments are designed to measure student progress and inform instruction. They are aligned to state standards and can be used for formative assessment, summative assessment, or both.
-Professional learning: We offer a variety of professional learning resources, including webinars, workshops, coaching, and consultation services. These resources are designed to help educators effectively use our assessments to improve student learning.
-Research reports: Our research reports offer insights into best practices in education, effective instructional strategies, and trends in student achievement.

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How NWEA Is Used in Education

NWEA is an acronym that stands for Northwest Evaluation Association. This organization produces assessments that are used in schools across the United States. These assessments are used to measure student growth and academic progress. Let’s take a closer look at how NWEA is used in education.

NWEA in the classroom

NWEA tests are given to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The assessments are adaptive, meaning that the questions adjust based on how well a student is doing. If a student answers a question correctly, the next question will be more difficult. If a student answers a question incorrectly, the next question will be easier.

The goal is to find each student’s instructional level—the level at which they can do 75% of the work with 75% accuracy. This is also called the student’s “zone of proximal development.”

NWEA scores range from 130 to 170. Anything above 155 is considered advanced, 140-154 is considered proficient, 120-139 is considered basic, and below 119 is considered below basic.

Schools use NWEA data to track student progress and growth over time. Teachers use it to inform their instruction, and administrators use it to make decisions about school programs and allocation of resources.

NWEA in schools and districts

NWEA provides assessments that are given to students in grades Pre-K through 12th. The assessments are adaptive, meaning that they adjust to the level of the student. The first test is given on a computer, and the questions get harder or easier based on whether the student gets the answer right or wrong. This testing adjusts to each individual student’s abilities, so every child is challenged but not overwhelmed.

The NWEA assesses Math, Reading, and Language Arts skills. For each subject, there are three RIT (Rasch Unit) scores reported: a current score, a goal score, and a percentile rank. The current score tells you where your child scored on the most recent test. The goal score is the score your child would need to earn on the next test in order to show academic growth. The percentile rank shows how your child’s current score compares to other students nationwide who have taken the same test.

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Schools and districts use NWEA data in different ways. Some use it to inform instruction in the classroom; some use it to group students for instruction; some use it for both. Regardless of how data is used, NWEA MAP Growth assessments provide educators with information about what each student knows and is able to do so they can better support their academic needs.

What the Future Holds for NWEA

National Weird Education Association, better known as NWEA, is a nonprofit organization that provides assessments for Pre-K through 12th grade students. NWEA partners with school districts across the United States to provide assessments and data-driven instruction. NWEA’s mission is to help all students succeed. So, what does the future hold for NWEA?

NWEA’s continued growth

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NWEA’s continued growth is a testament to our team’s unwavering commitment to supporting educators as they strive to ensure all students have equitable access to the high-quality education they deserve. As we enter 2020, we’re prepared to meet the needs of the next decade with solutions that support all learners—from early childhood through career—and the educators who nurture them.

NWEA’s new products and services

NWEA has been working hard to develop new products and services to support educators as they continue to adapt to the changes in education. Here are some of the new offerings from NWEA:

-MAP Growth 2.0: This new version of NWEA’s MAP Growth assessment will be released in fall 2017. MAP Growth 2.0 will include updated content and a refreshed design.

-NWEA Learning Navigator: This new tool will help educators track student progress and growth over time. The Learning Navigator will be available for free to all MAP Growth users in fall 2017.

-NWEA U: This new online learning platform will offer professional development courses for educators using NWEA assessments. NWEA U will launch in fall 2017.

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