Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Passkey Helps Students Achieve Standards Every Step of the Way

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Passkey Helps Students Achieve Standards Every Step of the Way

Article excerpt

For the last five years, Caldwell County schools in North Carolina have been using a software program from McGrawHill Lifetime Learning called PassKey: A Prescriptive Learning System. Since 1994, the county has seen improved test scores, including a 25% average increase in writing since 1994. Dr. Griggs McKinnon, the county's technology director, attributes the improvements in the Caldwell schools to the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Tom McNeel and to the dedicated teachers and staff whose focus is the success of every student. He also emphasizes the importance of sound testing and diagnostic information for effective teaching, which is largely helped by PassKey software.

With PassKey's diagnostic testing and objective-specific lessons, students take a pre-test, tutorial, guided practice and post-test to measure the level of mastery for each learning objective. Students can advance at their own pace and focus time on learning a skill they find most difficult. The results are performance-based, also known as criterion-referenced testing.

PassKey lessons help students achieve state standard levels in math, reading, writing and science with the inclusive, automatic onboard state objectives program. In order to lead students to complete skills mastery, lessons are arranged hierarchically. As McKinnon explains, "You can't learn to multiply until you know how to add. They've got to get these precursor objectives down before they [the students] can move on. …

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