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Putting an end to "overtesting" students

Putting an end to "overtesting" students

(NAPS)-Don't stress the dreaded standardized test: Some experts suggest schools test less and teach more.
The Dilemma
Although gathering student performance data is a critical part of education, "testing day" remains one of the most dreaded-and costly-events on the school calendar. In a recent national survey, educators indicated they spend on average more than four weeks a year testing reading skills. Furthermore, students in grades pre-K through 5 spend an average of eight entire days taking reading tests.
An Answer
To spend less time testing and more time teaching, many educators are looking into a new approach known as "Assessment Without Testing."
More than 13,000 schools are using this innovation in educational technology that provides teachers with student performance data without having to stop to give a test.
What it Does
The software, called Lexia Reading, combines individualized student learning and targeted teaching strategies to help students improve their reading ability. The system lets students work at their own pace, gathers student performance data without a test and saves teachers' time by prioritizing the students who need the most help and providing teaching strategies customized to each student's individual needs.
Gathering meaningful student performance data is critical to guide classroom instructional strategies, educators say, but, they add, the best way to measure student progress is to observe their abilities while they are learning.
How it Works
Students using this system work independently on activities that build reading proficiency as the software gathers performance data in real time based on their responses to each question.
In contrast, traditional testing methods rely on a snapshot of reading performance - taken when students are often nervous and not performing at their best - and can result in false high or low scores based on how each student reacts to the test on a given day.
Districts are finding they can reclaim weeks of instructional time and thousands of dollars typically spent testing, while the resulting data and the instructional strategies help improve student performance and reduce stress.
Where to Learn More
For further information, teachers, parents and others can visit or call (800) 435-3942.

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