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The Early Math Placement Tool Articulating with High Schools about College Level Math Expectations. James Wollack UW-Madison. What is an Early Math Placement Test?. A shortened version of a math placement test, administered to HS juniors Purposes of EMPT

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the early math placement tool articulating with high schools about college level math expectations

The Early Math Placement ToolArticulating with High Schools about College Level Math Expectations

James Wollack

UW-Madison

what is an early math placement test
What is an Early Math Placement Test?
  • A shortened version of a math placement test, administered to HS juniors
  • Purposes of EMPT
    • Improve the articulation with HS teachers, students, and parents about university-level math expectations
    • Increase number of students taking college-preparatory mathematics as Seniors
    • Improve overall math preparation of incoming college freshman
      • Reduce need for math remediation
      • Increase number entering with GER satisfied and ready to take first math class required for major
why is wisconsin empt unique
Why is Wisconsin EMPT unique?
  • Special relationship with UW MPT
    • EMPT is a homegrown statewide program serving Wisconsin’s 26 public universities and 14 technical colleges, partnered with a parallel MPT program used throughout the state.
  • Since 1978, faculty throughout UW-System have collaborated on the development of a System-wide math placement testing program.
    • 1 representative from each 4-year campus (13)
    • 1 representative from all 2-year campuses
    • 1 representative from Wisconsin High Schools
    • 1 psychometrician
  • UW-MPT is a testing program, not a static test.
empt and uw mpt
EMPT and UW-MPT
  • The EMPT really is just a shortened version of the exact same test students will take upon admission to a UW-campus
history of empt funding
History of EMPT Funding
  • From 1986-2002, the EMPT Program charged high schools $3 per student for the test.
    • Exam was P&P, and was proctored.
    • Program ran a deficit, and was subsidized by UW-Madison and the MATC.
  • In 2003, EMPT raised costs to $4 per student
    • Many schools dropped out, deficit increased, program died.
  • Ongoing funding for EMPT approved by legislature in 2008 State budget
overview of new empt
Overview of New EMPT
  • Testing medium is flexible
    • P&P and Online available
  • Administrative conditions are flexible
    • Separate forms for proctored/unproctored
  • No cost to individual high schools
    • Funded for Statewide implementation
communicating w teachers about empt
Communicating w/ Teachers about EMPT
  • EMPT is not intended to assess individual teacher quality
    • Teachers are bound by legislation to teach to state standards that are much broader than what is measured by the EMPT.
    • Teacher quality relates to the ability of the teacher to deliver the adopted curriculum.
      • The EMPT makes no effort to measure the integrity with which the curriculum was delivered.
communicating w teachers about empt8
Communicating w/ Teachers about EMPT
  • EMPT is not intended to assess the quality of the math curriculum
    • Evaluating the quality of the math curriculum requires a comparison of student outcomes with the goals and objectives of the HS math program (and/or those of stakeholders).
    • HSs need to appropriately teach many different types of students having very different needs and ambitions.
      • The EMPT does not measure the extent to which each of these different populations is well served by the curriculum.
communicating w teachers about empt9
Communicating w/ Teachers about EMPT
  • EMPT focuses squarely on the transition from high school to college math
    • It is an appropriate tool for evaluating the extent to which a HS curriculum adequately prepares students to transition to college-level math.
comfort through control
Comfort Through Control
  • The new EMPT is teacher-controlled
    • Teachers decide if (and how) their classes participate
    • Teachers register their own classes
    • Results are released to teachers only
    • EMPT does not provide school- or district-level data to school/district
    • Principals/School Boards/math coordinators cannot request results

EMPT data/results are for teachers’ eyes only

empt pilot study
EMPT Pilot Study
  • Target sizes for pilot
    • 25 Schools
    • 1,000 Students
  • Teacher recruitment
    • Twice gave a 15-minute presentation on EMPT at a high school math meet
    • Handed out flier at an information table at WI State Math Conference
empt pilot study12
EMPT Pilot Study
  • Actual numbers tested
    • 77 Schools
    • 217 Teachers
    • 565 Classrooms
    • 7,811 Students
  • Not one phone call was placed to recruit a school and only such one e-mail was sent to a high school
  • Students tested from January – June, 2009
    • Most tested in March and April
empt feedback
EMPT Feedback
  • Comments were uniformly very positive
    • “I really like the flexibility of doing it online or on paper or a combination of both—class time spent on this was minimal. I also really liked the class printouts of scores and the item analysis—very informative and easy to obtain”
    • “My students found the testing very helpful—several have now completed placement tests and appreciated the opportunity for practice; the juniors now know what to work on so they’ll be ready.”
    • “I loved the highlighting when inputting the answers!”
    • “It is awesome! The students really like the feedback.”
    • “We love it at XXX High School. It was very easy to use.”
the future of the empt
The Future of the EMPT
  • Expand to include WI private universities
  • Adding a “Great Ideas” page to website for teachers to ask each other questions and check out best practices
  • Adding a timer that can either be visible or hidden during testing, and add a 10-minute warning.
  • Expand item analysis to report percentage correct for all juniors and all students in same course (e.g., Algebra II)
  • Automating re-assignment of passwords if teachers forget
  • Exploring the sale of the EMPT to other states
  • Evaluation
    • Previous EMPT data consistently showed that participation reduced remediation by 50% and increased calculus placement by 10%.
thank you jwollack@wisc edu https testing exams wisc edu empt home
Thank Youjwollack@wisc.eduhttps://testing.exams.wisc.edu/empt/home