South Dakota Schools Adopt Online Assessment Platform for Science Aptitude
The South Dakota Department of
Education will administer online versions of its
Dakota State Test of Education Progress (DSTEP) science assessments to
grade levels this spring using a new platform.
and DSTEP-A (alternative) assessments, required by the federal No Child
Left Behind Act and South Dakota state law, are given to students in grades 5, 8 and 11
with significant cognitive disabilities each year in reading, math and
The state decided to adopt a platform from Questar
administer the science portion of the assessments for the next three
years, beginning this coming March and April.
assessment provider's Web-based platform has a large bank of items
designed to accommodate students with special needs and
items that the company says will provide an equitable testing experience
the 30,000 South Dakota students who take the test each year.
assessment is not used by educators to make grade promotion or high
graduation decisions. Instead, the DSTEP and DSTEP-A are intended to
students and parents evaluate students' academic achievement and
South Dakota's academic content standards.
Minnesota-based Questar Assessment provides online assessment
tools to public and private K-12 schools in 33 states and the District
we look forward to providing South Dakota's students and
educators an exceptional assessment experience," said Questar
and CEO Jamie Post Candee.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.