PracTutor is well suited for a talented and above proficient student as much as it is for the students who need extra care and intervention.
PracTutor takes a pretest for each of the common core domains to ensure that each student has a unique learning path based on his/her skill set.
The advanced students will start with challenging core standards and are not required to complete the standards that they are already familiar with. This engages them more and helps them stay motivated.
Each core standard in PracTutor has a critical thinking practice and test to challenge the advanced students with more application-based and concept building questions which are aligned with the PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessments.
Schools use PracTutor for all 3 tiers of Response to Intervention (RTI) framework.
PracTutor identifies at-risk students early and accelerates their learning with instruction and practice that is intensive, balanced, and personalized.
Tier 1 – Core Instructional Interventions
What is required?
All students in Tier 1 receive high-quality, scientifically based instruction, differentiated to meet their needs, and are screened on a periodic basis to identify struggling learners who need additional support.
- Each student is unique. PracTutor provides a pre-test for each domain of the Common Core Curriculum to personalize the learning path for each student based on their skill set.
- The students learn from videos carefully chosen; each video corresponding to one of their learning styles as per VARK (Video, Audio, Reading and Kinesthetic).
Tier 2 – Targeted Group Interventions
What is required?
In Tier 2, students not making adequate progress in the core curriculum are provided with increasingly intensive instruction matched to their needs on the basis of levels of performance and rates of progress.
- Teachers can group the students as per their skills and can assign core standards to individual groups or the whole class as per the needs of the intervention.
- The detailed reports help teachers stay on top of how the group is progressing.
Tier 3 – Intensive, Individual Interventions
What is required?
At this level, students receive individualized, intensive interventions that target the students’ skill deficits for the remediation of existing problems and the prevention of more severe problems.
- PracTutor links each common core standard to the pre-requisite standard; this helps introduce missing skills automatically in the student’s personalized learning path.
- The student can learn the missing skills through a set of videos and then have a guided practice (with hints and step by step explanations) to ensure the existing deficiency is resolved.
- Teachers can identify the struggling students and the standards they are struggling in using the progress report
NCTM recommends a process for creating or selecting an intervention program. PracTutor is the only program that satisfies all the criterias.
Race to the Top (RTT) is a $4.35 billion United States Department of Education contest for all 50 states and DC created to spur innovation and reforms in state and local district K-12 education.
Arne Duncan, previous CEO of Chicago schools who changes the school systems in Chicago and the current US Secretary of Education was the person behind the idea and implementation. His idea was to bring the students in US at par with other countries that have advanced Math programs like Korea, China, India, Japan etc. President Obama backed it under the ARRA act of 2009.
The idea was to award money to various states who submitted applications showcasing better curriculum, assessment methodology, performance-based standards, implementing common core curriculum, turning around the lowest-performing schools, and building data systems. Points were awarded for each of the criteria and the state getting maximum points of a possible 500 wins the money! As simple as that.
What the program did though was unify states and expedite the process to adopt the common core curriculum. Get more information 48 states adopted the common core by the August 2010 deadline.
12 states won the Race to the Top competition and were awarded the money with NY and FL getting the maximum $700 mn each.
Now the states won the money to implement better methodology, implementing common core curriculum, turning around schools, rewarding parents etc. Now, the next logical step was the assessment, how to ensure all the students across the country are tested at the same level and are tested with 21st century skills, real time application testing. So the federal government under the RTT awarded money to 2 consortiums.
PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) http://www.parcconline.org/ had 23 states – DC and Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. This consortium was awarded $170 million (Award Letter) would develop next generation assessment tests that would replace all existing assessments in these states and use the PARCC assessment. The PARCC assessment would be done twice a year – mid-year and end of the year assessment. They will start with a pilot of 1 million students in spring 2014 and have all the other 22 million students using PARCC by the academic year 2014-15. The tests would be governed either on computers or by print for the initial 2 years and then completely online.
SMARTER Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) http://www.smarterbalanced.org/ – was another consortium of 22 states of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and they were awarded $160 mn (Award letter). They decided to take a different approach with a computer based adaptive test rather than just assessment to ensure the questions get difficult if the student is getting them right and vice-versa.
For both the assessments – A web-based Consortium platform will be developed to manage assessment data and provide sophisticated data reporting and analysis tools for customized reports.
So no matter what state or school you belong to – the coming school year – be prepared for computer based test which will test the students application/cognitive skills rather than having bubble based simple multiple choice questions. 21st century – here we come!