T.H.E. SmartClassroom :: February 1, 2007

Case Study

Texas District Uses Web-Based Assessment Solutions To Target Instruction

Standards-based formative assessment and computer-adaptive diagnostic testing provide educators with data to address student needs

Monitoring student progress is key to helping students prepare for high stakes tests. In Channelview Independent School District (ISD), we used to make copies of released Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) tests and hand them out to be administered every six to nine weeks. Since the TAKS is now released every other year, however, it made it difficult to get good, valid, reliable tests to regularly measure student progress.

We needed a platform to easily deploy benchmark testing in grades three through 12 in math, reading, science and social studies. In 2005/2006, our district began using Scantron Achievement Series, a Web-based assessment platform, to develop and administer district benchmark tests both online and on paper, capture results, and produce reports.

Today, with standards-based formative assessment—and the addition of computer-adaptive diagnostic testing—we're providing administrators and teachers with the assessment data they need to target instruction for students district-wide, including those participating in English as a Second Language (ESL) and alternative education programs....

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Ed Tech News

NASBE Issues Guiding Principles for NCLB Reauthorization

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) last week released a list of "guiding principles" that it hopes Congress will consider as it makes modifications to the No Child Left Behind Act. The organization argues that changes should be made only in collaboration with those who have had experience implementing the existing law and who know first-hand "what works and what doesn't work."...

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Cisco To Upgrade 8 More Jefferson Parish Schools

According to Cisco Systems, eight additional schools in Jefferson Parish in Louisiana will receive technology upgrades through Cisco's 21st Century Schools Program, doubling the initial number. The goal of the program is to "revamp" technology implementations in underperforming schools impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita....

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Blackboard, SFLC Respond to Patent Reexam

Responding to a request from the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) decided Jan. 25 that it would indeed reexamine Blackboard's disputed and controversial patent on technologies used in course management systems. Both Blackboard Inc. and the SFLC, which represents open-source CMS developers, responded to the decision....

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Products & Services

Blackboard, Thinkronize Partner on netTrekker

Education software publisher Blackboard is partnering with Thinkronize, the developer of the netTrekker d.i. search engine. Through the partnership, netTrekker search functionality will be available within Blackboard's learning management system. The announcement was made this week at the FETC convention in Florida....

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TurningPoint Released for Mac

Turning Technologies has released a new version of TurningPoint, an audience response tool for Microsoft PowerPoint. The latest release supports Mac OS X-based systems. It's available now....

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Web Notes

ALS Offers Free Worksheet Generator

Accurate Learning Systems, the developer of MathScore, has released a new, free tool for educators called Math Worksheet Generator (MWG). As its name implies, MWG is a tool for creating customized math practice worksheets. It's available now....

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Events Calendar

  • FEB 5-9, 2007
    TCEA 2007
    Texas Computer Education Association
    Austin, Texas

  • JUNE 24-27, 2007
    NECC 2007
    28th-Annual National Educational Computing Conference
    Atlanta, GA

THE Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives - discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
  • Case Studies – have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

If you have a potential article, or questions about the above topics, please e-mail [email protected]

Awesome Clipart for Educators

Awesome Clipart for Educators offers educators FREE clipart, backgrounds, fonts, icons, worksheets, wallpaper and more. Click here to see how easy searching for clipart can be!

This article originally appeared in the 02/01/2007 issue of THE Journal.