School Subtracts Math Texts to Add E-Lessons, Tests
Online curriculum and in-class assessments seen as way to lift achievement.
Under pressure to raise test scores, math teachers at San Marcos High School decided to do something different this school year.
Setting aside their 7-year-old textbooks, teachers filled the void largely with an online math curriculum, called Agile Mind, that comes equipped with an array of assessment tools. The idea was to get a better read on what their students know and what they should target in planning their classroom instruction.
“A big push is to get away from instruction being textbook-driven, to needs-driven,” said Joy H. Philpott, the academic dean of the 1,900-student school here, some 30 miles south of Austin. School officials had learned about Agile Mind in a sales call from representatives of the company, which is based in Grapevine, Texas, near Fort Worth. The visit came after last spring’s state tests, known as the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, or TAKS, but before...
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