SOL Testing 2017

(Classroom chatter) SOL testing is just one of the many things that any busy school does in a given school year and we want to minimize the hours students spend testing and maximize the hours that they spend in quality instruction with teachers face to face and so having a Chromebook enables us to reduce our testing window so that students are able to take their test the first time and if necessary take an expedited retake in an even shorter time frame. When we first rolled out online testing people pictured you go to the computer lab or we rolled in a mobile computer lab and everybody takes their tests on a computer. Classroom instruction is evolved way past that. Now students have different kinds of devices: they’ve got Chromebooks or iPads and they spend the year interacting with those devices. Using the iPad devices makes it much more simple i would say for students and for teachers as well. They are much more comfortable on their iPads and they are able to manipulate them a lot better than using a laptop. A computer adaptive test starts a student with kind of a moderate-level difficulty question at that grade-level standard. If a student struggles then it will actually begin to give them easier questions, not as complicated, but within the grade-level expectations. If they’re doing very well it can go beyond that grade level and see exactly how far that student can go. Instead of having like, what if all the questions like we’re super easy, and then like the smart kids just pass it like easily, but if the questions get harder then they actually have to like think and like use their skills. Computer adaptive tests can give us valid reliable results without so many questions. So when we look at fifth-grade math we can go from a 60- item test to a 39-item test; that’s a huge reduction. I would say average test time since they moved to the CAT test has definitely shortened. I applaud General Assembly and the leadership of the state Board of Education and Dr. Staples for reducing the tests that are administered to students and understanding that what we do in education is a lot more than just a singular test that is given at the end of the school year.

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