Curriculum

Publishers Roll Out Classroom Tests

By Lynn Olson — May 24, 2005 1 min read

Publishers continue to respond to demands for tests that are linked to state standards but can better inform classroom teaching.

The San Antonio-based Harcourt Assessment Inc. last month introduced Stanford Learning First, a flexible, Web-based classroom assessment system for grades 3-8.

Focused on reading and mathematics, the two subjects in which schools must make yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the system has two components: periodic assessments called ClassLinks that are guided by each state’s academic-content standards, and annual tests called ClassViews that are guided by the blueprints for state accountability tests.

Harcourt will offer six to eight ClassLinks tests per grade and content area, designed to give teachers immediate feedback about where students are struggling. ClassViews will also be custom-built by state to provide an “accountability snapshot” that identifies a student’s level of proficiency on state standards. The company will offer two ClassViews test forms per grade level for both reading and math; teachers can give the tests at the beginning or end of the year.

The tests, which can be given both online and in print, will be available at first in Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia.

McGraw-Hill Digital Learning, a division of the New York City-based McGraw Hill Cos., announced the release of a new assessment, reporting, and tutorial system this month: Yearly ProgressPro Reading/Language Arts, for grades 1-8.

The system includes two types of online tests that can be given to classrooms each week. The Reading Maze is a timed assessment of weekly reading passages to help diagnose students’ overall reading ability, fluency, decoding skills, and comprehension skills. The weekly language arts assessment diagnoses strengths and weaknesses in such areas as decoding, vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension. Teachers can link the information on student progress directly to specific instructional exercises to help raise achievement.

The company already has a similar program in math, launched in 2003.

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