John Lopez (Texas Education Agency) shared some interesting information at the Texas CTO (COSN) meeting today that took place at the Hilton, adjacent to the TCEA Convention in Austin, Tx. Although I didn’t quite catch his entire presentation–I was working my way over from Tammy Worcester’s session–I did catch this preliminary information that had not been released yet…apparently, it will be shared with legislators first.
John Lopez shared that the NCLB Assessment (you know, sections 1-3) will be opened up sometime in April, 2009 to allow data-entry. So, Texas schools can expect that they will have to put this information in online.
Some of the key pieces of information that will have to be contributed is the 8th Grade Technology Literacy data that schools collect. Unfortunately, John stated that “TEA doesn’t have the authority to establish an online assessment. “
This means that even though a pilot was conducted–using Learning.com’s system, which cost a few dollars per student–the results of that won’t impact how ALL K-12 districts have to conduct their assessments.
At this point, we can pretty much assume that nothing has changed–school districts will have to report technology literacy for their 8th graders and they can use whatever tool works for them…essentially, no uniformity or standardization across the State of Texas. In District A, an 8th grader may be a whiz at technology according to the assessment, while in District B, he flunks the assessment. Reminds me of the digital divide…how about you?
John Lopez also pointed this out–and forgive how rough my notes are here:
- Preliminary numbers that were just worked out:
- Unduplicated number of computers for instructional: 861 responded, or 71%. This isn’t too bad a response for the first year, John remarked.
- Total numbers: 1.6 million computers. Majority of computers are connected to Internet at 45bits per second. 45,000 had no connectivity, and 2000 that use dial-up internet access.
- Section 2: 8th grade literacy. Out of 247,000 participating 8th graders, 73% passed.
BTW, I recorded this segment of the conversation that I was present for…however, this is about the meat of what I heard.
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