Oxford moves toward online testing
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Apr 16, 2013 | 6649 views |  0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OXFORD – Oxford City Schools will be changing the way the district tests student achievement next year, and those tests won’t involve pencils and paper.

Khristie Goodwin, curriculum and special education coordinator for the school system, said during Tuesday’s school board meeting that the Alabama Department of Education is mandating that systems throughout the state move away from using the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Plus test.

The new method of testing will be the Aspire online assessment, Goodwin said. Aspire tests are published by ACT, Inc., which also publishes the standard high school achievement and college admissions test, the ACT.

Both tests are aligned with common core standards, Goodwin said, and with one another.

“So all the way down to the third grade, we’ll be able to predict how our students are going to be performing on the ACT, and that will progress all the way up through eighth grade,” Goodwin said.

The online tests will be a change from the traditional paper tests, but administrators and teachers are preparing now, Goodwin said.

With that many students taking tests online, more computers are needed, said the school system’s director of operations, Eric Burrage.

Burrage said that the district will be increasing its number of MacBook laptops by 1,350 in the coming year, bringing the system’s total number to 2,300, which is enough for every student in grades seven through 11, Burrage said.

Burrage said he is still negotiating with Apple Computers, but he estimates the new four-year lease would increase the system’s yearly payment by $190,000 to approximately $600,000.

In other business, the board:

• Adopted revisions to the code of ethics for school board members.

• Renewed a bid for milk products for Oxford schools from Barber Dairies for the 2013-14 school year.

• Approved language arts/reading textbook committee recommendations for the 2013-14 school year.

• Approved changing the location of Oxford High’s prom on May 17 from the school to the Oxford Civic Center.

• Announced that kindergarten registration for the 2013-14 school year will be May 3 from 7:30-3:30 p.m. and May 15 from 7:30-5:30 p.m..

• Announced that Kim Wagner, special education teacher at Oxford schools, was selected as the Delta Kappa Gamma Sigma Chapter Teacher of the Year.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7 a.m. on May 21 at the board conference room.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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