Monterey, Calif. — August 22, 2007 — CTB/McGraw-Hill is providing Mesa public school teachers with powerful tools to inform instruction, improve learning and track student progress. Beginning this fall, educators in Arizona´s largest district will use Acuity´s predictive assessments to gain an in-depth understanding of students´ academic progress toward state standards. In addition, the district will use TurnLeaf AMS, a flexible data management, analysis and reporting system to aggregate results from a variety of assessments, including the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS), into a single reporting view.

"With the new assessment tools, teachers will have increased capacity to understand how students are performing throughout the school year, gauge their progress in mastering academic standards and tailor instruction and assessments to meet individual learning needs in the classroom," said Dr. Debra Duvall, superintendent of Mesa Public Schools. "This robust assessment system, along with the data management and reporting tools, will give our educators a quick and efficient method for monitoring achievement. Ultimately this kind of detailed information will benefit both the student and the teacher."

"Mesa recognizes the importance of using assessment as a teaching tool to drive daily classroom instruction and boost student learning and achievement," said Ellen Haley, president of CTB/McGraw-Hill. "We´re proud to support the district´s students, parents and educators with tools that help turn assessment results into dynamic information that enhances educational goals."

Acuity tools are highly flexible and customized to align to Arizona´s educational standards. Mesa Public Schools initially will administer Acuity via paper-and-pencil, and will be incorporating online Acuity assessments in the future. When using both paper-and-pencil and online assessments, students and teachers will typically receive progress updates within 24 hours. As part of Mesa´s district assessment program, students are assessed three times a year in grades 3-8 in reading and math. In addition, Mesa schools will be using Acuity Algebra in grade 9.

"We wanted an assessment product that would provide ongoing information and data to show us whether or not students were moving toward mastery at every grade level, as well as provide remediation tools specific to our standards," said Sandi Kuhn, principal at Lowell Elementary School, who served on the assessment selection committee. "Acuity allows us to track the progress of our students throughout the year. In addition, we can pull test items from the item bank and use them as an instructional tool as well as a measurement tool, so there are no surprises when our students take the summative assessments at the end of the year."

Mesa Public Schools can select from the following Acuity components:

? Predictive Assessments — These assessments mirror the content and format of the AIMS tests, are aligned to grade-level standards, and are able to measure student growth within and across academic years. They indicate future student performance on Arizona state tests, and can guide tailored interventions to help individuals and groups of students move forward.

? Custom Classroom Assessments — Acuity includes an item bank of research-based questions aligned to Arizona state standards. Individual or groups of teachers can use these items to create custom assessments to measure student learning on a particular set of academic objectives, enabling early, frequent and effective intervention.
? Aligned Instructional Exercises — Acuity provides teachers with a series of personalized instructional materials which guide and assist in improving students´ mastery of subject matter. These exercises can be assigned to classrooms as a whole, to groups of students or to students individually.
? Informative Reports — Acuity´s detailed reports provide instructional direction in a clear, easy-to-understand format, and can be viewed at the student, class, school and district level.

About Acuity
Acuity was developed in consultation with administrators, principals, teachers, and students. Acuity is a suite of diagnostic and predictive benchmark assessments designed to show student growth toward state standards and performance indicators in English/Language Arts and math for grades 3-8 and in algebra for grades 6-12. Acuity features online and paper-and-pencil administration options to match the level of technology available in schools. Informative reports provide the data teachers need to improve student achievement. Instructional exercises tied to student performance and state correlated online item banks enable custom, teacher-created assessments to help students remain current on classroom instruction.

For more information, call (800) 538-9547 or visit AcuityForSchool.com.

About CTB/McGraw-Hill
As the nation´s leading publisher of standardized and standards-based achievement tests for pre-school, elementary, middle, high school, and adult education, CTB/McGraw-Hill LLC offers a broad range of assessments, software and services. CTB/McGraw-Hill LLC is part of the Assessment and Reporting group of McGraw-Hill Education (MHE), a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP). MHE is a leading global provider of instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. McGraw-Hill Education has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 40 languages. Additional information is available at www.ctb.com .

About the Author:

eSchool News