Texas district takes new approach to testing

The Richardson Independent School District (RISD) in Dallas, TX has used a new approach on testing for several years now with the program TI MathForward. It incorporates real-time assessment using technology, and allows teachers to see who exactly understands the subject matter, what concepts need more explanation, and who needs additional help, without singling out any students.

RISD is located in a suburban community of under 100,000 residents and is ethnically diverse, with a large percentage of African-American and Hispanic students. For the third year in a row, students in the district using TI MathForward demonstrated significant improvements on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS™). The district was also able to close the achievement gap for African-American students in the district with the help of the program; 13 middle and high schools participated.

As teachers go through a lesson, they can see (on a problem-by-problem basis) what students understand and what they need more assistance on. Teachers can also use the program to give quick quizzes or explore problems where the class can work together to find out how someone got a wrong answer.