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Carlos was told that his school’s annual test was going to be fun. Rewarding. Personal. A test that will help him, as an individual, grow to his highest potential. Carlos began to imagine it.

His teacher, Mr. Comp told him he’d be taking his state-mandated test on the computer, instead of bubbling in multiple-choice answers. “Carlos, imagine sitting in front of the computer and being presented with open-ended question after open-ended question, in all subjects.”

Carlos tweaked his head to the side, trying to picture it.

“And, rather than feeling pressured to perform, you are given time to think about, and plan your answers,” his teacher continued.

Carlos was seeing it. Liking the idea.

The questions would be scaffolded.”

Carlos needed the word defined.

“Meaning, questions would be based on your skill level; each question, after the first one, would be based on how you answered the previous question, layering it to your personal level of learning.”

“Nice,” Carlos gave a thumbs-up.

“Also, rather than lumping all of the kids in the class, or the state for that matter, into one category, giving everyone the same level of assessment, regardless of where they are on the learning curve, each would be able to show how they’ve progress over the year. Your scores would be based on you, and compared to your assessment from the previous year, showing your own personal growth. Imagine that, Carlos.”

“I think I would feel great! I think that kind of testing would really change the way I think about our annual assessment; and, also, really show my parents that I am learning. And not compare me with all the other kids in school. Plus, sometimes when questions are multiple choice, I just guess because I’m tired, don’t have a clue what the answer is, or I’m just not into it. So, this new kind of state test would be awesome!”

They were both silent for a moment, reflecting.

“Mr. Comp. Are you just wishing, or is this something you have been told about?”

“It’s on its way, Carlos, it’s on its way.”