Assessment Strategies: Back Office Business

5/30/2012 12:00:00 AM

Texas elementary school goes from Academically Acceptable to Exemplary in two years

Challenge: At the end of 2005-06, United D.D. Hacher Elementary School was charged with helping more of the fifth grade—made up of mostly English Language Learners—pass the high-stakes Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

Solution: Fifth-grade teacher Miguel Chavez used Study Island, a program that offers web-based instruction, practice, assessment, and reporting aligned with Texas’ state skills. At the end of the first year of using Study Island, the fifth grade passing scores in math went from 69 percent to 98 percent; in science, the passing rate went from 42 percent to 87 percent; and in reading, it went from 66 percent to 83 percent.

Hawaii selects assessment tools aligned to Common Core

Challenge: As part of its Race to the Top initiative, the Hawaii Department of Education needed to provide assessment tools for the state’s English language arts and mathematics departments.

Solution: Hawaii’s DOE chose Riverside’s Assess2Know Benchmark item bank (part of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), which is aligned to the Common Core. The item bank lets teaches create their own assessments via an online test generator.

Mobile Technology to be used for state testing

Challenge: Exeter R-VI School District in Missouri wanted to individualize instruction to help students master the standards to perform better on state tests.

Solution: The district purchased Brainchild’s AYP package, which includes 50 Kineo tablets and software aligned with state standards. For each standard, students will take a pretest to establish a baseline score, watch videos, and work through problems until they perform well on post-tests.

New York State selects new tool to measure student growth

Challenge: In order to require more data-driven assessments in schools, New York State recently passed a law requiring student growth to be a factor in teacher and principal evaluations.

Solution: The New York State Education Department approved Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Diagnostic as an approved student assessment tool for K-8 English language arts and math. The online program offers adaptive, personalized, data-driven instruction and is aligned to Common Core State Standards.

Los Angeles Schools collaboration forms partnership to boost student achievement

Challenge: The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (a collaborative that includes the City of LA and the LA USD) sought a program that would allow teachers at 16 of its middle and high schools to support differentiated learning needs, improve student outcomes in math and English language arts, and bridge the digital divide.

Solution: The Partnership chose Revolution K12, a web-based adaptive math software program. One of the first Partnership schools to pilot the programs has already shown positive results: an additional 15 percent of its 10th-grade students passed both the math and English language arts sections of the CAHSEE, and overall passing rates increased from 45% to 60%.

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