New York schools heading to statewide computer based testing

Last spring, New York took its first official steps into statewide, computer-based testing (CBT) as school districts across the state voluntarily piloted field tests on digital devices for students in grades 3-8 in English language arts (ELA) and math.

This year, districts have the option of offering online testing for the state exams, and both computer and paper state exams will be offered through 2020. The transition to CBT is meant to be slow in consideration of each district’s technological infrastructure and different logistical challenges.

The move stems from the state’s “commitment to meeting the needs of 21st century learners, while at the same time improving test delivery, test integrity, scoring validity, and turn-around time on testing results,” said Executive Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin in the memo to districts.

The web-based test delivery platform includes accommodations for students with disabilities, English learners and English learners with disabilities. Students also will have access to on-screen math tools, such as calculators, protractors and rulers, approved for their grade level. They will be administered in one 40-minute session.