By the 2014-15 school year, state officials have plans to replace the mastery test, which is taken by third- through eighth-graders, and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test, which is taken in 10th grade with computerized tests. As a student progresses through a test, the questions presented will vary depending on whether the student got previous questions right or wrong.
In her July 20th commentary in the Hartford Courant, Jennifer Dolan questions if the state's children and school districts are ready for this type of testing. Under this new computer-adaptive testing, students who answer a question correctly will get a more difficult question.
As a former elementary school teacher with years of mastery test experience, Dolan brings up some interesting issues with making the tests computerized. Are the children taking the test computer literate? Can the students understand English and/or the wording of the questions? She also questions a school system's ability to purchase the computers necessary to be able to conduct the test.
During tight fiscal times, it will be interesting to see how school systems prioritize the modernizing of tests. What do you think about the state's plan to bring testing into the 21st century?