181 School Districts Register for First Year of Online State Testing
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181 School Districts Register for First Year of Online State Testing

OLYMPIA – February 3, 2010 - More than 360 schools in 181 school districts registered and were accepted to participate in the first year of online state testing. This spring, students in grades 6-8 in the participating schools will take the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) on a computer in reading and/or math.

The 364 schools, which represent nearly 27 percent of schools statewide with sixth through eighth grades, provide a diverse cross-section of large and small, and urban and rural buildings. A majority of the registered schools opted to test in all grades (6-8) and subject areas (reading and math), but some are testing in only specific grades or content areas.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn pushed for the move to online state testing when he took office in January 2009. He was pleased by the response of schools to participate in the first year and the swift progress to implement the online testing program.

“This is a major step in our state testing,” Dorn said. “We’re joining a growing number of states who are moving to online testing. Today’s students are exposed to more and more technology and will be required to use computers or other high-tech devices when they enter the workforce. We, as the education system, need to prepare them for that and this is one way to accomplish that mission.”

Throughout the school year, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has provided key information to school districts about the requirements to participate in online testing, such as computer hardware and software needs, demos and tutorials of the testing system and a school capacity calculator.

In the fall, OSPI released a demo of an online testing system that is similar to what Washington will use. In January, an online reading tutorial featuring Washington test items was released for students and educators to become more familiar with the system. An online math tutorial will be released in late March. The demos, tutorials and other information, including frequently asked questions, can be accessed at www.WAtesting.com/online.

Who’s Participating in Online Testing?
  Reading Math

6th graders
7th graders
8th graders
Totals

21,645 (28.0%)
19,145 (24.9%)
21,835 (27.8%)
62,625 (26.9%)

21,412 (27.7%)
19.266 (25.1%)
18,837 (24.0%)
59,515 (25.6%)

Note: Numbers based on May 2009 enrollment

The rollout plan for online testing calls for additional grades and subjects to be added each year. Based on feedback from schools participating in this spring’s online testing, OSPI will evaluate the rollout plan to determine if any adjustments are needed.

In response to requests from the state’s school districts, the testing window for the grades 3-8 MSP was moved from April to May, making it more of an end-of-the-school-year exam. Similar to past years, results for the paper-and-pencil and online MSP exams will be returned to school districts in mid August.

The testing window for the paper-and-pencil MSP exams is May 12-28. The testing window for the online version is from May 3 to June 4. Although the reading and math exams are much shorter than in years past, the testing window is larger than the paper-and-pencil window to allow schools enough time to rotate students in and out of computer labs or classroom computer stations. Each school determines what days they will use within the testing window.

Online Testing Demos and Tutorials

OSPI has released a demo and tutorial for schools and the public to view and use. Please visit www.WAtesting.com/online.

The demo takes users through a demonstration of an online testing program similar to Washington’s.

The tutorial allows users to download an online Washington reading test. It is intended for to prepare for students for online testing.

 

 

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