MONTEREY, CALIF., June 14, 2011—Pacific Metrics Corporation (www.pacificmetrics.com), a leading provider of online assessment solutions, announces the successful completion of the 2010–2011 End-of-Course tests for the Louisiana Department of Education. The online system, now in its fourth year of administration, provided teachers and school administrators with testing results just two days after a student completes a test.
The End-of-Course tests measure the knowledge and skills a student is expected to have mastered by the end of a specific high school course and contain both multiple-choice and constructed-response test items that are administered to students through a secure online system. The End-of-Course tests are scored through a combination of handscoring and the use of TruScore™, Pacific Metrics’ automated scoring system. This system allows teachers to receive complete scoring reports within two days of test completion, which, unlike responses to paper-based tests, can take up to eight weeks to score. According to Sherry Brock, principal at Westdale Middle School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, teachers were excited about the quick turnaround time of the End-of-Course results, which allowed them to analyze data and identify strengths and weaknesses in their students and curriculum. “We are still learning how to use this data as a district, but this rapid release of student results is a welcome change at the school and the district level.”
First administered in the 2007–2008 school year, the End-of-Course tests were designed based on the recommendation from the Louisiana High School Redesign Commission. Throughout the process, Pacific Metrics has worked hand-in-hand with technology coordinators and teachers to ensure smooth implementation of the online testing system. Support for the testing system includes a phone and email-based help desk, user guides, and teacher trainings. For the 2010–2011 school year, technology engineers from Pacific Metrics spent one week in Louisiana during the first week of testing to provide immediate attention to any technical issues.
“In the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, our 10,000+ high school students are switching high stakes testing gears from the paper/pencil Graduate Exit Exam to the online End-of-Course tests. The students are ready for this change—for test coordinators, this can be a daunting task. Through on-site professional development to the truly helpful Help Desk, Pacific Metrics staff is actively involved in making this transition as smooth as possible. This personal contact with our district ensures our students experience a successful session on the computer,” states Liz Frischhertz, Chief Officer for Accountability, Assessment, and Evaluation of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. “Their staff listens to our concerns and most importantly, they react and address our suggestions. As one of the largest districts in Louisiana, East Baton Rouge teachers, students, and administrators have been heard and we appreciate the Pacific Metrics hands-on approach to testing.”
“The successful implementation of the End-of-Course testing system is a direct result of effective collaboration between Pacific Metrics and the Louisiana Department of Education. Together we ensured the districts and schools were well-prepared for the shift to online testing,” states Bob Guerin, Executive Vice President of Pacific Metrics. “This positive working relationship was instrumental in increasing the number of students tested through our online system to over 122,000, with more than 194,000 tests administered for the 2010–2011 school year.”
In order to complete the assessment requirement toward earning a standard high school diploma, students are required to take and pass the End-of-Course test in three main categories: Algebra I or Geometry, English II or English III, and Biology or U.S. History. Preparation for the End-of-Course tests was completed through classroom instruction based on Louisiana’s Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs) and practice tests using Pacific Metrics’ online systems, including Practice Assessment/Strength Skills (PASS) and Enhanced Assessment of Grade-Level Expectations (EAGLE). The End-of-Course tests, designed to ensure consistent and rigorous instruction for high school students across the state, are administered in December, May, and June. For more information about the End-of-Course tests or any of Pacific Metrics’ assessment solutions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (831) 646-6400.
About Pacific Metrics
Pacific Metrics Corporation creates lasting improvements to the assessment and learning environment through the thoughtful use of technology. Headquartered in Monterey, California, Pacific Metrics provides specialized psychometric software and sophisticated online systems to state departments of education and to organizations that develop, administer, and score large-scale assessments. The company has achieved recognition for its technical work and for being a leading force in the development of innovative, customized, web-based systems. For more information, visit www.pacificmetrics.com.
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