By Kayla Robinson
Entirely East Lansing
EAST LANSING – East Lansing Public Schools are preparing for the standardized test called the M-STEP that will take place this spring and are also making the transition from pencil-and-paper to online testing.
Christian Palasty, director of technology and media services, said that many faculty members have been getting special training for this online assessment.
“My department, which is the Technology and Media Services, has been working on the devices to make sure they are well prepared,” Palasty said. “We have done professional development with the teachers, we have walked students and staff through the practice test of what the M-STEP will look like, we’ve made resources available, and we have also trained the librarians so that there is on site support on the days of the test.”
Palasty said that there will only be one type of electronic that will be available when it comes time to take the test.
“We are going to do the testing solely on our laptops, but not on our iPads,” Palasty said. “So the only mobile devices will be the laptops; and in the secondary, they’re going to use some of the computer labs.”
Malik Taylor, a student at East Lansing High School, said switching to online testing would be good for the student body.
“I think this is a good step up for our school district,” Taylor said. “Most of us teenagers stay on our electronics all day anyways, so I feel like it’ll just be easier than using pencil and paper.”
Dori Leyko, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, said testing this year for the juniors will only cover a couple of subjects.
“Last year, the 11th graders took math and English language arts as part of the M-STEP; this year, they’re only taking science and social studies as part of the M-STEP,” Leyko said. “They take the math and English language arts as part of the SAT.”
Leyko also said that since the school district is switching to online testing, the results will be available to students and parents sooner.
“Now that we’re moving to an all online assessment, the state will be quicker in getting our results back,” Leyko said. “Prior to this year, it was all paper and pencil. We didn’t get results back as quickly as we would have liked to see, but I know that in the future, we’ll be seeing them sooner than a year’s time like it used to be.”