Missouri Students Take New, First National Computer-Based Test
Parkway students are among those who participated. Know of any other private schools or St. Louis districts that did participate in this?
Of the 50,000 students participating in the United States' first national computer-based writing test, approximately 700 students from 25 public schools in Missouri were among them.
Parkway School District Spokesperson Cathy Kelly tells Patch, four schools in the Parkway district are participating in this assessment in for the 2012-2013 school year, including South Middle, Carman Trails, Highcroft and West Middle.
While NAEP has conducted writing assessments in the past, this is the first year the test was computer-based, stated Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) sources.
Due to the differences in the testing and scoring process, this year's test results cannot be compared to earlier assessments. The test results were reported only on a national level; state-level results were not released.
"The ability to communicate and write well is critical in our information-based society," said Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro in a DESE release about the outcome. "Solid writing skills are essential for students to be college- and career-ready."
Preparing students for college or other postsecondary training and careers is one of the goals of DESE's Top 10 by 20 initiative, an education improvement effort that aims for student achievement in Missouri to rank among the top 10 states in the nation by 2020.
According to NAEP, 3 percent of students scored at the advanced level, while 24 percent scored at the proficient level. About 52 percent of students earned basic-level scores, and just over 20 percent of students scored below basic.
The writing assessment was conducted in grades 8 and 12 at selected schools across the country. The students' writing was evaluated according to three criteria: development of ideas, organization of ideas and use of language.
The computer-based writing assessment was developed to reflect the growing use of technology in the classroom and on the job. Students were given two writing tasks and had 30 minutes to complete each response using a laptop computer and word-processing software. Test questions addressed situations common in academic and workplace settings and required students to write for different audiences and purposes to persuade, to explain or to convey a real or imagined experience.