Technology Facilitator Standard IV includes student assessment and evaluation and using technology to analyze, interpret and manipulate student assessment data for the purpose of school improvement. No Child Left Behind has mandated that schools set goals for student achievement and has developed punitive actions for schools not maintaining Adequate Yearly Progress. This high stakes testing has created a huge market for products that can assist schools in becoming data-driven. I recently read an article that I have tried all morning to locate, but it indicated that one of the five characteristics for a successful school is that it be data-driven. The state of Texas has mandated that teachers be able to access student assessment data and, as a result, are developing a free portal through www.texasassessment.com. I’m used to getting unfunded mandates from the TEA, but it appears that it is developing this site for districts that do not have the funds to purchase disaggregation products. I logged into this porta and found that the teacher dashboard displays test results aggregated by class and at the individual student level. I’m not very familiar with this portal because my school has always used AEIS-IT and Eduphoria for our data disaggregation, but if teachers are to become data-driven, then they must have access to the data.
According to the text, Computer-based testing (CBT) is emerging as one of the most promising technologies to address these current needs.”CBT permits educators to quickly and efficiently identify and map student content areas to be assessed on tests, to create multiple forms of tests, to grade tests and to analyze results.” (Williamson & Redish, 2009, p. 78) The product that my school purchased for test disaggregation also performs all of these tasks. Our teachers can create benchmark assessments with Eduphoria Aware and then print scanable answer documents that, after completion, can be scanned directly back to the web-based website to join the state assessment data. There is no wonder why this product is so expensive. This ties back to Standard III, a bit, in that once again the teachers must be trained on the technologies provided to them in order to understand the “whole picture” of what be data-driven is all about. Gone are the days of teaching “love units” that don’t adhere to the readiness and supporting TEKS.
Administrators and principals cannot be blamed as the only ones who “don’t get it” when discussing student technology literacy. Technology educators know that if a school integrates digital tools there are numerous benefits including deeper understanding by students and more interaction by lower functioning students, but even the federal government as represented by NCLB lacks the same requirements for technology literacy assessment and reporting that it has for core subject areas. Of course schools are going to skirt the written requirements for technology literacy when there are no consequences and I’m not entirely unsympathetic to the reasons for this. Technology is expensive and it’s difficult to find people who will work for teacher wages when they could be in the private sector making more money. I’m frustrated because I see this big picture in my mind of what education should be, but several limitations and some policies actually work against the implementation of the technology education that our little 21st century learners need.
Williamson, O., & Redish, T. (2009). Iste's technology facilitation and leadership standards,
what every k-12 leader should know and be able to do. Intl Society for Technology in
Educ. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books/feeds/volumes?q=9781564842527