Teaching at South Gate Middle School for the past four years, our founder supported his students towards record-breaking mastery levels on the California Standards Tests. Now, the smartestk12 team wants to share the success with all Los Angeles county, and eventually the whole country as we all prepare to meet the digital assessment needs of the impending Common Core.
There is no secret formula to improved success in the classroom, yet no one can argue in the power of data.
Our goal is to make the data tracking process extremely easy and teacher-friendly. For LA county, this means that all 145,000 students PreK to grade 12 can be standards mapped using our website. Also, all teachers, parents, and administrators can be held accountable toward their growth. The current system requires us to wait until August to find out test scores. While the Common Core will be faster, we will only have data to act on by the end of the year, or at most 2-3 interim assessments. Now, with smartestk12, any student can practice every day of the year; and on every subject, including essays. With this much information, our city can eliminate students falling through the cracks, because we will know performance almost instantly. In LA, 1 in 4 students drop out because we did not help them in time, and often we did not know where to help them academically. Likewise, 3 of 5 students do not finish college prep requirements because we push them forward to the next level regardless of any true level of mastery. With a computer adaptive system, a student in one seat can be practicing in calculus and the student in the other can be working on basic number skills. Yet, in each program, the student will be receiving content perfectly suited for their needs and the teachers, parents and administrators involved will be 100% aware of those needs. We can now provide accountability before the end of the year, meaning that LA schools can actually hold data to a teacher or student. And finally, professional development will match the needs of the teachers, because there will be no hiding from intervention needs.
LAUSD's chromebook push:
While at LAUSD, our founder built smartestk12 and had a 3-year average Academic Growth over Time rating of 5.6 out of 5, placing him in the top 1% in his subject. This means that his students grew far beyond their expected levels, adjusted by previous scores, ELL status, socioeconomic status, etc. However, beyond the adjusted growth, his students showed real performance levels in the top of the city, with over 100 students scoring at the highest level (Advanced), annually. When a system works, it enables critical thinking and more time on quality instruction and meaningful programs for kids.
Smartestk12 will intimately work with LA's schools. Currently, several have agreed or have shown deep interest in completing Beta Testing this fall, including various LAUSD schools, KIPP LA schools, the UCLA Lab School and the DaVinci Schools.
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