Up Close takes a look at district’s move online for state testing

HISD is making the move toward online assessments that help teachers better determine what students know so that they can personalize the learning experience.

HISD Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones addresses the transition in this month’s edition of Up Close with Chief Academic Officer Dan Gohl, Formative Assessment Manager Betty Garcia-Hill, and Carol Mosteit, principal of the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.

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STAAR End of Course (EOC) exams are already available online, and individual campuses can choose to administer them that way or on paper. Other summative online testing, such as TAKS, STAAR-A, and TELPAS, is only online. And many HISD schools are also providing snapshot and District Level Assessments online.

Assessments drive instruction in the classroom, and online testing gives teachers the data they need almost immediately. Quick results help teachers strategize their instruction and plan additional lessons so that students are able to work on the areas in which they showed the worst performance.

Online digital access also engages children in the classroom. Getting immediate feedback on tests helps students take ownership of their performance on the assessments, and helps them identify both their strengths and weaknesses.

Other topics explored in this edition of Up Close include the STAAR End of Course tutorials that are available to students on the PowerUp HUB, the winner of the 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition, and soon to be graduates from HISD’s Emerge program.