Back to School: Texas schools now give TAKS online

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AUSTIN (AP) - Texas students seventh grade and up will take
state standardized tests a new way this year: by logging onto the
Internet and clicking a mouse. But there still remains the
old-school way with paper and a freshly sharpened number two

Texas joins 21 other states this year by offering its
standardized test, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills,
online. The test is used to assess skills in math, English,
science, reading, writing and social sciences. Teacher pay and
school funding is now tied to how well students perform.

Advocates say online testing is cheaper, allows for quicker
results and provides the exam in a format most comfortable to

Lisa Chandler, director of student assessment for the Texas
Education Agency director of student assessment says the online
test was made optional this year to accommodate schools that do not
yet have enough computers or the Internet capacity.

The TEA will provide the testing software for free, but
schools must have enough computers for students taking the test and
an Internet connection.