COLUMBUS, OHIO and BLOOMINGTON, MINN – August 17, 2009 – Elementary schools throughout western and central Ohio are identifying student performance levels and addressing individualized learning needs with the help of Pearson’s AIMSweb solution, an assessment and web-based data management system. Through a professional network geared toward improving school performance, many of Ohio’s curriculum directors, guidance counselors, Title I coordinators, principals, school psychologists and teachers are using AIMSweb to make data-driven instructional decisions with positive results already evident.
Several years ago, Ohio put an improvement initiative into place with the goal of using data to assess educational needs and to find appropriate solutions. In response to this initiative, Julie Bertling, an early childhood consultant with Ohio’s State Support Team, began offering AIMSweb, a program that provides benchmark and progress monitoring assessment and accurate data to ensure good instructional decision making, to districts in her region.
In the fall of 2008, Bertling began a more robust regional program, adding 11 districts to date, to help educators effectively implement the AIMSweb system and use real-time data to gauge interventions and enhance student performance. “By using AIMSweb schools are able to identify students having difficulty with their studies and help struggling readers,” said Bertling.
Under Bertling’s tutelage, Ohio AIMSweb users met seven times throughout the year to conduct training and share strategies for success. According to Bertling, the flexibility of the AIMSweb’s progress monitoring enabled each district to implement it slightly differently to meet individual needs. Recently, at the group’s final meeting in school year 2008-2009, AIMSweb users shared the following feedback.
One of the AIMSweb users in Bertling’s program shared this experience, “In our district, the teachers now use AIMSweb data to help them divide children into reading groups, reassessing after each benchmark assessment. It’s exciting to see how the program moved our district to start to look at differentiating instruction; because, before AIMSweb, it was whole-class instruction, and that was it. AIMSweb has actually moved instruction in our district.”
Other Ohio users attending the final session said they appreciated knowing that AIMSweb ensures the personalization of learning for every child at all achievement levels. These educators also said they were pleased with how AIMSweb presents comprehensive data in an easy-to-read and easy-to-interpret report for students and parents.
“During parent-teacher conferences, our teachers used AIMSweb graphs to show parents where their children were compared to the benchmark, and what they planned to do if the child was below benchmark levels — the strategies to help that child increase his or her reading rate,” said one Ohio educator. “At the end of the year, we also made a graph [through AIMSweb] to show the children’s progress throughout the year…each child could see that he or she steadily went up, that there was a time that maybe he or she stayed at the same level and what was done to help that situation.”
“Large-scale implementations of AIMSweb, as seen in Ohio, help showcase the importance of data-driven instruction,” said Douglas Kubach, president and CEO of Pearson’s Assessment and Information group. “With AIMSweb, schools are personalizing learning for each student. The program’s enhanced data tracking capabilities help teachers and administrators can readily monitor student progress, address deficiencies and recheck in a matter of minutes.”
Due to the success seen in the 2008-2009 school year, many of Ohio’s AIMSweb users plan to expand their programs in the coming years. One elementary principal using AIMSweb for K-2 reading said, “Our district is looking forward to building [AIMSweb] up. We’re going to begin reading assessments for third through possibly eighth grade, and then we’ll start to think about including math for the following year. We’re building the foundation of a response to intervention program, and AIMSweb is a great tool to help us with that.”
To find out more information about Pearson’s AIMSweb or how to implement a program similar to Ohio’s, call 866-313-6194 or visit http://www.aimsweb.com.
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information about the Clinical Assessment group of Pearson, visit http://www.pearsonassess.com/.
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