CTB/McGraw-Hill's Acuity Assessment Raises the Performance Bar in San Bruno Park, California Schools

Case Study Details Acuity's Success in Preparing Students for the California Standards Test

Mar 21, 2011, 10:29 ET from CTB/McGraw-Hill

MONTEREY, Calif., March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CTB/McGraw-Hill, a leading provider of PreK–12 and adult education assessments, today announced the release of a case study documenting the value of the company's Acuity® InFormative Assessment™ solution. The study describes the San Bruno Park, Calif. School District's experience using Acuity® as a predictive assessment of student achievement on the California Standards Tests. Acuity has provided the district with substantial benefits, including immediate access to and analysis of assessment results, that have greatly improved the district's ability to evaluate student learning gaps and provide real data-driven instruction. The complete case study can be viewed at CTB.com/SanBrunoPark.

"We needed timely and clearly stated data to inform our instructional practices," said Dr. David Hutt, superintendent of the San Bruno Park School District. "And we had quite specific requirements, such as sequential snapshots showing how students are grasping grade level standards, with detailed item analysis of response distribution and test item construction. Additionally, the assessment had to be readily integrated into the technology infrastructure and the existing instructional work format of the district's teachers."

San Bruno Park schools needed an assessment that was aligned with state standards, as well as the district's own assessment program. They also wanted the assessment to provide rehearsal for students in a testing protocol similar to the California Standards Tests, which is required of all students according to the California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program. In 2009, the district implemented CTB/McGraw-Hill's Acuity assessment – an integrated system of predictive and diagnostic assessments, reports, instructional resources, item banks, and item authoring tools – aligned to state standards, and designed to improve student performance.

"We are especially encouraged by the insight that Acuity's predictive assessment has provided. It has raised the performance bar for all of our students, particularly our English Language Learners," added Dr. Hutt. "Acuity has proven to be an extremely useful tool, enabling us to use test data to inform instructional practice and make real improvements in student outcomes."

After using Acuity for three semesters, the district performed a thorough evaluation and determined that the assessment exceeded their expectations. The following features were noted as particularly beneficial:

  • Item Analysis – Test item analysis gives teachers the data needed to identify specific areas of difficulty for each student or class, allowing them to determine their proficiency level relative to a given grade level standard.
  • Rehearsal for the state assessment – Acuity provides the opportunity for students to get accustomed to the format of the state assessment.
  • Alignment with state standards – Acuity provides a stepwise approach to accountability and alignment with standards, by integrating the previous year's grade level standards, as well as the current year's standards, and allowing teachers to chart a targeted instructional course.
  • Online Videos – Acuity's suite of online videos allow teachers to visit the Acuity website for online help anytime.
  • Integration of Technology – Acuity is readily integrated into school IT infrastructures, giving teachers immediate access and availability to assessment results and resources.

"Acuity is now one of our most valued tools," continued Dr. Hutt. "It provides student-specific data to ensure that we do the right thing for each child. While we use a suite of measures to inform our instructional practices, Acuity has proven to be instrumental towards the development of worthwhile learning opportunities for every student."

About Acuity

The groundbreaking Acuity InFormative Assessment solution helps teachers gauge student performance and deliver tailored instruction for every student. Used by more than 65,000 teachers and 1.5 million students nationwide, Acuity heralds a new generation of assessment, enabling educators to deliver true data-driven instruction. Acuity contains four elements of a comprehensive assessment system: ongoing skills measurement, in-depth reporting, data analysis, and resources for individual instruction and intervention. CTB/McGraw-Hill also offers comprehensive professional development, online community forums, implementation, and support services. In 2010, Acuity swept three industry-leading awards to become the premier interim/formative assessment solution available to schools today. For more information, visit CTB.com/Acuity or call 800.538.9547 to schedule a live presentation.

About CTB/McGraw-Hill

CTB/McGraw-Hill has an 85-year record of innovation and excellence in assessment, and serves more than 18 million students in all 50 states and in 49 countries. One of the first American publishers to introduce objective, standardized achievement tests to schools, today CTB/McGraw-Hill is a leader in testing with recognized products for online interim and formative, adult, and language proficiency assessment. Dedicated to advancing the use of student performance data to inform instructional decision making, CTB/McGraw-Hill's innovation continues today with technologies that include Web-based assessment and reporting, student response device (clicker) software, and artificial intelligence for automated scoring of student essays. CTB/McGraw-Hill is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP). McGraw-Hill Education is a leading global provider of instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. For more information, visit CTB.com.

Media Inquiries Brandon Engle Communications Manager Phone: 916.933.1291 Brandon_Engle@ctb.com