Three Jackson teachers training for MAP at college

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Three Jackson teachers have undertaken leading roles in their school district's attempt to improve scores on the annual Missouri Assessment Program testing.

During their meeting Tuesday night, the Jackson School Board heard about the ongoing efforts of Shana Kight, Debbie Mayfield and Joyce Penland as senior leaders training other teachers about MAP testing.

The three teachers, Kight from R.O. Hawkins Junior High, Mayfield from Jackson Middle School and Penland from West Lane Elementary, are part of a professional development program through Southeast Missouri State University that provides training in effectively preparing students for MAP.

MAP, which is a series of tests in various subjects given to students at certain grade levels, is administered every spring and is the state's means of measuring student achievement. Jackson schools will begin this year's testing April 8.

This is the first year of a three-year commitment in which the three teachers attend five training sessions per year at Southeast. In turn, they teach what they've learned to teams of seven or eight teachers, who pass it along to others at each school in the district.

The sessions began with an orientation last July and wrapped up for the current year in February.

"The training has allowed me to understand what students are expected to know," Mayfield said. "It's been very beneficial for kids because it encourages them to use a higher order of thinking and improve their problem-solving skills."

In a presentation to school board members, the three teachers discussed what they've learned through the sessions -- everything from the format of MAP questions to the scoring of the tests.

"There are lots of questions about MAP that teachers are unsure of," said Kight. "Hopefully we've been able to clarify some of those issues through our training."

335-6611, extension 128

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