DCAS is up and running
The computer based test will be offered up to four times a year and will give teacher, students, and parents feedback in as little as 48 hours. Of course, the big question now is exactly how that feedback will be used. Teachers have long asked for more relevant testing data to help the identify instructional needs of students, and with Data Coaches headed out to schools soon through Race to the Top, they should have the help they need to make the most of this new information.
One big unknown is how exactly parents will receive this data, and how useful it will be to them. It will be up to schools and districts to make sure this information gets into the hands of parents, but that needs to be done in a way that helps parents understand it and make decisions about how they can help their children. No small task for a professional educator, let alone a working parent. We hope to see districts support parents to help them make the most of this new information, and, in return, we hope to see parents being more active in the academic lives of their kids.
Right now the data is only going to be available to schools and parents, but we should see statewide data early next summer. We are looking forward to seeing how the implementation goes, and to seeing the full system up and running, including end of course exams, next fall.