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Standardized Tests Getting an Overhaul

School Computer Lab

The standardized tests that K-12 students take each year will soon undergo an electronic overhaul, the New York Times reports. The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded two consortia of states a total of $330 million to develop ways to improve, broaden, and speed up the tests by 2014, using interactive computing technologies.

A reliance on multiple-choice math and reading exams is on the way out. Instead, the new computer-based tests will measure more sophisticated skills, including the ability to read complex texts, combine facts, and perform research or conduct experiments, according to the Times. Pupils might be told to imagine they’re in charge of reducing a city’s pollution rates, for example; be required to select from a number of possible tools; and then analyze how best to proceed. Because computerized tests can be administered quickly, the system will allow teachers to give formative tests several times a year to determine if students are keeping up with lessons – and to make adjustments if they’re not.

More K-12 Education News

2 Responses to “Standardized Tests Getting an Overhaul”

  1. When did the New York Times report this? Where can we get more information?

  2. The Times story was “U.S. Asks Educators to Reinvent Student Tests, and How They Are Given,” carried on Sept. 2, 2010. We provided the link here, and in the story above.

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