Computer-Based Testing

Computer-Based Testing (CBT) at KLSD / 2023-24

NYSED is requiring all school districts to transition to Computer-Based Testing (CBT) for the NYS ELA, Math, and Science testing program (grades 3-8). Knowing that districts have different technology capacity, the state is allowing three years for the transition, with two grade levels required to make the transition each year and full implementation by spring of 2026.

Last year, John Jay Middle School conducted Computer-Based Testing (CBT) for its NYS tests at all three grade levels. The experience ran smoothly for students and staff. As a result, this spring, although the State is only requiring that tests be computer-based in 8th grade, JJMS will again administer computer-based tests to all grade levels.

This summer, administrators from all three KLSD elementary schools, a representative from the middle school, our Director of Technology, and our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction met to discuss options for elementary testing. Although we continue to be mindful of the time students spend both with and without technology and the importance of striking a healthy and effective balance, we have decided to move forward with CBT for all three elementary grade-levels (3, 4, and 5) this spring. We join several of our surrounding districts in this approach (Bedford Central School District, Somers Central School District, Byram Hills, and Croton-Harmon, to name a few).

Our rationale is as follows: We believe it would be more disruptive to implement both CBT and paper-based testing during the same testing administration and that a uniform experience will be best for students and staff; We believe our elementary students and teachers will adjust easily to CBT given the existing skillset of our students and the established resources and infrastructure; We do not believe there will be need for extended student preparation for the new model.

NYSED’s rationale for making the change is as follows: “Computer-based testing has been successfully implemented for elementary- and intermediate-level testing in 48 states and it is critical that New York now also transition to modern approaches to assessment that are in line with the 21st Century instruction and learning being fostered in classrooms … potential advantages include faster turnaround of student results, additional flexibility in administration windows, reduced administrative preparation, reduction or elimination of standalone field testing, an exploration of adaptive testing models, and fiscal savings for districts. Many of these options reduce burdens on teachers and school staff which can translate into additional instructional time for students.”

In Spring 2024, all KLSD students in Grades 3 through 8 will be taking NYS ELA, Math, and Science Tests via CBT (note: NYS Science is only tested in grades 5 & 8). Prior to test administration, deliberate steps will be taken to integrate learning opportunities into the typical student experience to familiarize them with the testing platform. A simulation test will be conducted in January to confirm our readiness and to provide students with a no-stakes opportunity to experience CBT testing.