CPS Announces Assessment Changes for Grades K-2 

Changes in testing requirements to create more time in the classroom

April 26, 2013

After months of collaborative research, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has decided to restructure assessments for students in grades K-2 – a directive that will maximize instruction time for the District's youngest learners.


This move is part of a larger effort to streamline assessments across the District, creating greater opportunity for direct interaction between teachers and students.


"Assessments are an important tool for measuring a student's academic growth and success," said CEO Byrd-Bennett. "But we must be mindful to strike the right balance with instruction time, which is vitally important for the academic growth and engagement of our students, especially in the early grades."


Beginning this spring, the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress for Primary Grades (MPG) test will be suspended for students in grades K-2. Instead, CPS will transition to administering the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test to all second graders, as it is an accurate measure of literacy and numeracy skills and provides teachers with useful information for instructional planning.


Last winter, CEO Byrd-Bennett launched an extensive evaluation of all assessments currently being administered by CPS. Educators, parents, students and education experts participated in 17 focus groups, and hundreds of online survey responses were collected so that the District could better understand which tests are valuable and which need to change.


"After research and conversation with parents, students, teachers, principals and community members, we are embarking on a common sense restructuring of assessments in grades K-2.," said CEO Byrd-Bennett.


A set of full-scale recommendations for assessments in all grade levels is now being created based on the feedback of key stakeholders, and will be shared with school communities in the coming weeks.