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Florida District Turns to Customized Assessments To Reach State Standards

Florida's District School Board of Pasco County (DSBPC) has turned to customized assessments and an upgraded bank of test items in an effort to better achieve state standards goals. Extra test administration resources will also be employed to meet an ambitious student testing regimen planned for the upcoming school year.

The district is looking to meet an array of specific benchmarks outlined in the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS), which cover school subject areas in math, science, physical and health education, reading, and social studies for K-12 students.

"Instructional teams use ongoing summative and formative assessments to identify student needs and adjust instruction" appears at the the top of the list of teacher objectives in DSBPC's 2008-2013 strategic plan. As part of the campaign, DSBPC has contracted with educational technology company CoreK12 to provide customized assessment content and other test items tailored to the district's needs, as well as test management and administration services through the company's online Assessment Center platform. Specific assessment plans include delivery of custom NGSSS-aligned math and science benchmark tests for grades 2 through 11 during three testing windows in the 2010-2011 school year.

"Our goal is to develop, design and deliver tests that are truly meaningful to our teachers and students at an affordable cost," explains Peggy Jones, DSBPC director of research and evaluation. "Our experience and research has shown that the CORE K12 Assessment Center program contains high quality items which are well matched to NGSSS benchmarks. We worked hand-in-hand with CORE K12 to develop the critical custom assessments we needed. We believe this combination of outstanding items and customized assessments will help us deliver positive results across our district schools."

DSBPC, based in Land O' Lakes, FL, serves more than 67,000 students in 45 elementary, 15 middle, and 12 high schools.

About the Author

Evan Tassistro is a freelance writer based in San Diego, CA.