McCOOK, Nebraska -- McCook Public School teachers are taking steps to create tests that focus on quality, rather than quantity.
"Its more than putting grades into a grade book and moving on," said Superintendent Grant Norgaard at Monday's McCook School Board meeting. "The goal is to use the best instructional techniques to get the best possible results from students.
To do this, Norgaard said teachers have been meeting in groups since Fall 2011, to determinine what is most essential for students to learn and what kind of tests are the most beneficial.
This includes a number of areas, including identifying essential learnings, recognizing how students master a subject, developing lessons plans to build on this, develop assessments for students that will demonstrate mastery and teaching in manner that effectively enables all students to master essential learning objectives.
Norgaard stated that the No Child Left Behind standards is expecting 83 percent proficiency in state assessments in math and reading for students in the 2012-2012 year, and 100 percent proficiency in 2013-2014, a projection that will be "very difficult, if not impossible, for any school to do," he added.
However, the McCook School District is not in a position right now to be affected by No Child Left Behind funding, Norgaard said.
In other Administrative comments, Norgaard said students in MPS will be taking state assessment tests in writing sometime between Jan. 13 to Feb. 10, and for math, reading and a new category, science, from March 26 to May 4.
He also told board members that principals and administrators have completed training in teacher selection, where they learned new tools for interviewing potential teachers.
Norgaard presented to the board a preliminary calendar for the school year 2012-13 that is still being updated. The finalized calendar will be presented to the board in February or March for approval.