Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Students’ show significant academic growth on semiannual measures of academic progress (MAP)
The number of students meeting or exceeding their individual academic growth targets on the MAP increased significantly from fall 2014 to fall 2015 across all three of ASDB’S schools, with most students showing academic growth above typical levels of those in the national sample of like peers
Phoenix, AZ, November 24, 2015 – Today, Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB) Interim Superintendent Marv Lamer proudly announced that all three of ASDB’S schools—Tucson’s Arizona School for the Blind (ASB) and Arizona School for the Deaf (ASD) and the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD) showed a significant increase in the number of students who met or exceeded their individual academic growth targets on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) administered in the fall of 2015 (see charts below).
The percentage of students meeting their MAP academic growth targets on Fall School Year (SY) 2014-15 MAP Math and Reading typically increased anywhere from— an impressive— 25% to 50% from the prior year’s results, depending on school and subject area evaluated.
One notable exception occurred at Phoenix Day School for the Deaf which saw a remarkable 228% increase in the percentage of 10th grade students meeting or exceeding their MAP Math academic growth targets as compared to their prior school year in 9th grade (see charts below).
In SY 2013-14, 25% of 9th grade students met their academic growth targets on MAP Math while, the following year, SY 2014-15, an incredible 82% of 10th grade students (and those in 9th grade the prior school year) met or exceeded their MAP Math growth targets.
“The Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind is proud of its significant improvement in student learning and student academic growth,” said superintendent Lamer. “ASDB is fortunate to have an excellent and hard-working team of educators committed to improving student learning. As evidenced by the increase in the number of our students meeting or exceeding their academic growth targets on MAP Reading and MAP Math, the work of teachers and the efforts of students have paid off in a big way.”
The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is a computer adaptive interim assessment developed by the Northwest Evaluation Association. The MAP measures individual student progress and achievement in the subjects of reading, language usage and mathematics.
ASDB administers MAPs to its deaf, hard of hearing, blind, limited vision, and multiply disabled students in both the fall and spring of each school year. Unlike AzMerit (the AIMS replacement) which is Arizona-specific, mandated, end-of-year and a grade-level specific summative assessment, the MAP is a nationally administered, opt-in, adaptive (adjusts question difficulty levels based on each student’s unique proficiency level) and interim assessment which is given periodically to test and obtain feedback on student academic growth throughout the school year.
Superintendent Lamer indicated that the significant across-the-agency increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding their MAP academic growth targets was the successful result of the collaborative, focused efforts of staff, students, parents and other important stakeholders to increase student learning.
“The ASDB-wide plan to significantly increase student academic achievement and learning for our deaf students and blind students was prepared, trained on and staffed for in SY 2013-14 and fully executed last August at the start of the 2014-2015 school year,” stated superintendent Lamer. “With the governor’s office, the ASDB board, ASDB leadership, parents and other critical stakeholders uniting around the overriding belief that student learning must significantly improve at ASDB, great things started to happen, and continue to happen, for ASDB students.”
In SY 2013-14, a new intensive education system focused on higher standards, higher accountability and higher expectations was put in place at ASDB and trained on by education staff. This education delivery and support system’s ultimate goal is to improve the quality of teaching thereby increasing student learning. This new comprehensive instructional support system strategically includes the simultaneous execution of the following ten education programs and agency-wide initiatives:
- Reorganization of critical agency resources;
- Essential Elements of Instruction program;
- Vail Unified School District’s Beyond Textbooks framework;
- Curriculum aligned with Arizona’s new K-12 education standards;
- Teacher appraisal and accountability system;
- MAP® to continuously assess progress on achieving student growth targets;
- Intensive, ongoing staff professional development;
- Agency-wide teacher and education services staff recruitment and retention initiative;
- Building new stakeholder partnerships and strengthening existing partnerships; and
- Development of an agency-wide culture built on a foundation of shared values and focused on collaboration, problem-solving and data-driven decision making in order to accomplish the agency’s mission, objectives and ultimate purpose: to maximize ASDB’s students opportunities to succeed in college, career and life through a high-quality public education.
The charts that follow illustrate the significant increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding their academic growth targets from SY 2013-14 to SY 2014-15.
Percent of Students Meeting or Exceeding their MAP Academic Growth Targets, by School and Subject, Fall 2013-14 vs. Fall 2014-15:
At the Tucson campus, while the percentage of Arizona School for the Blind (ASB) students meeting or exceeding MAP Reading growth targets remained the same from SY 2013-14 to SY 2014-2015 (40%), the percentage of Arizona School for the Deaf (ASD) students meeting or exceeding their MAP Reading academic growth targets increased from 44% in School Year [SY] 2013-14 to 60% in SY 2014-15. At Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD) there was a 25% increase in the percentage of students meeting/exceeding MAP Reading growth targets from 40% in SY 2013-14 to 50% in SY 2014-15.
The percent of ASB students meeting or exceeding their MAP Math academic growth targets increased from 56% in School Year [SY] 2013-14 to 73% in SY 2014-15. The percent of students meeting or exceeding their MAP growth targets at ASD increased from 46% in SY 2013-14 to 57% in SY 2014-15. At Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD) there was nearly a 50% increase in the number of students meeting/exceeding MAP Math growth targets – from 41% in SY 2013-14 to 60% in SY 2014-15.
At PDSD, a dramatic increase in the percent of students who met or exceeded MAP Math growth targets occurred for students as they moved from 9th Grade in 2014 to 10th Grade in 2015 (see right side of bar graph set in the illustration above).
The percentage of PDSD students in this cohort who met or exceeded their MAP Math academic growth targets skyrocketed from 25% in 2014 (when they were in 9th grade) to an impressive 82% in 2015 (when they were in 10th grade). To put that into perspective, that is a remarkable 228 percent increase in the percentage of the same group of students meeting or exceeding their Math growth targets from one year to the next.
The challenge to significantly increase the academic performance and post-graduation opportunities of students who are deaf or blind is not unique to Arizona nor to the United States, but rather is a recognized worldwide challenge. ASDB and its partners are focused on overcoming the unique learning challenges associated with students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired, empowering them with the life-changing opportunities of a high-quality education.
The Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB) was founded in 1912 – the year of Arizona’s statehood. ASDB serves over 2,000 children who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind or blind/deaf with a disability (such as autism, Down syndrome, Multiple sclerosis, etc.) from birth to 22-years-old. ASDB operates a statewide early childhood program that provides services to families directly in their homes, statewide onsite and offsite preschool programs, two K-12 schools for the deaf, one K-12 school for the blind and five regional cooperatives which provide services to students at their local schools. ASDB is dedicated to empowering students with the educational opportunities necessary to succeed in college, career and life.