It appears that bubbles will be banished in the new system of standardized testing. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced yesterday that the new state standardized tests will be computer-based, to better evaluate students ability to synthesize information and conduct research projects. “The use of smarter technology in assessments,” Mr. Duncan explains, “makes it possible to assess students by asking them to design products of experiments, to manipulate parameters, run tests and record data.”
The project is being taken on by two groups of states. Forty-four states will be overhauling their standardized math and reading tests, with the help of $330 million. The new designs will be created with the help of testing experts and hundreds of university professors, reports the New York Times. The computerized system is expected to provide faster feedback, and should be ready for the 2014-15 school year.
“If these plans work out, it’ll turn the current testing system upside down,” said Bruce Fuller, an education professor at Berkeley. The new tests are part of the Obama administration’s efforts to improve the U.S. educational system.