LES prepares for computerized ELA testing

Starting this week, fourth-grade students at Liberty Elementary
School will take computerized tests in English language arts to help
prepare for New York’s official transition to computer-based state
testing next year.

In a memo last fall, the New York State Education Department (SED)
invited all New York schools to try out computer-based testing in
this spring’s field test, to give administrators, teachers,
students and state officials a chance to see how they work in real
school settings.

Liberty Central School District is among more than 900 schools
participating in the field test.

Only fourth-grade students are taking part in the field tests. The
field tests will be available on iPads and administered between
May 23 and June 10.

Districts will have the option of offering online testing for the
actual state exams in 2016-17, and both computer and paper state
exams will be offered through 2020. The transition to
computer-based testing is meant to be slow in consideration of
each district’s technological infrastructure and different
logistical challenges.

This transition stems move from the state’s “commitment to meeting
the needs of 21st century learners, while at the same time
improving test delivery, test integrity, scoring validity, and
turn-around time on testing results,” Executive Deputy
Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin said in the memo.

Field test results do not affect student grades or factor into
accountability ratings for districts, schools or teachers. Rather,
the tests are given to help ensure questions used in future state
exams are appropriate and fair for all students.

The web-based test delivery platform includes accommodations for
students with disabilities, English learners and English learners
with disabilities. Students also will have access to on-screen
math tools, such as calculators, protractors and rulers, approved
for their grade level.

The 40-minute tests will be administered to just one grade and in
one subject and won’t count on student transcripts or toward final
grades. The purpose of the test is to help the district pinpoint
any technical issues and to help get students comfortable with the
technology.

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