Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) educates 16,400 students in 21 schools and operates under a budget of $130 million. The district’s Learning Through Technology group supplies hardware, software and Internet bandwidth to all school facilities.
Charlotte County Public Schools improves student assessments with Lexmark Testing and Grading solution
Printers & Multifunction Devices
Administering quarterly benchmark assessments to gauge student progress using “bubble sheet” tests has long been an educational requirement. However, obtaining quick results is vital in helping teachers make curriculum adjustments aimed at improving student performance. For the 1,131 teachers of CCPS, the delay of waiting for test results had become an academic impediment. At the district level, purchasing more than 50,000 pre-printed bubble sheets annually had become cost-prohibitive. After the tests were administered, completed tests had to be collected from each school and then sent to a central location for scanning the completed sheets and scoring the tests. This approach created bottlenecks, delayed results and increased costs.
“In the past, scanning tests and uploading them into our system was not an automated process. Therefore, the process inherently took longer,” said Chris Bress, executive director of the district’s Learning Through Technology & Media Services group. “Teachers can respond to the results more effectively when they can see the results right away.”
CCPS set out to find a better solution—one that cost less and more rapidly and effectively supported student achievement. Bress knew the district needed to provide near-instant results and eliminate the costs of pre-printed forms and centralized distribution and scoring. He also knew that test results needed to be fed automatically into the district’s Performance Matters™ academic assessment and data-management platform. CCPS teachers knew they needed color printing capabilities in order to truly benefit from the testing analysis and reports generated by Performance Matters. CCPS was already a loyal Lexmark customer and operated 300 desktop laser printers in classrooms district wide, so Bress turned to Lexmark to help the district solve this challenge as well.
CCPS selected the Lexmark Testing and Grading solution, a combination of Lexmark multifunction product (MFPs) and software that reduces the costs associated with academic testing and grading and dramatically shortens the time between test taking, scoring and grading.
Chris Bress Executive Director, Learning Through Technology & Media ServicesPrinting customized bubble sheets on plain paper right in the school avoids the expense of purchasing pre-printed bubble sheets and the costs and delays of centralized distribution, scanning and scoring.
CCPS teachers now print bubble sheets on demand on plain paper. The test sheets are pre-slugged with a barcode including the student’s name, ID number and classroom. After assessments are administered, teachers scan completed test sheets on Lexmark MFPs located throughout each school. The tests are automatically graded and scores are entered into the student’s record in Performance Matters immediately.
“Printing customized bubble sheets on plain paper right in the school avoids the expense of purchasing pre-printed bubble sheets and the costs and delays of centralized distribution, scanning and scoring,” said Bress. “Our district is a longtime user of Performance Matters, and Lexmark’s partnership with them was a key consideration in our choice."
CCPS chose color Lexmark MFPs in order to get the most out of the Performance Matters reporting and analysis capabilities. “Performance Matters generates many excellent reports that show if students are on track or need extra help,” said Bress. “Printing these assessment reports in color makes interpretation much easier and greatly enhances impact.”
Charlotte County teachers quickly embraced the Lexmark Testing & Grading solution. “Teachers like the immediacy of obtaining test results. It’s a huge improvement compared with the long delays of the old, centralized scoring system,” said Bress. To help the teachers get up to speed on the new system quickly, Bress’s Lexmark team created a series of brief, online training videos. “The videos show how to log in at the Lexmark MFP, print test sheets for each class and then how to scan the completed test sheets for scoring. They’re very popular and have made it really easy for the teachers to take full advantage of the new approach.” Already simple to use, each Lexmark MFP is equipped with a large, full color touchscreen that guides teachers through each step of the process.
Chris Bress Executive Director, Learning Through Technology & Media ServicesPerformance Matters generates many excellent reports that show if students are on track or need extra help. Printing these assessment reports in color makes interpretation much easier and greatly enhances impact.
With its testing and grading system fully operational, CCPS is beginning to leverage even more capabilities of its Lexmark MFPs. The district’s purchasing department now generates purchase orders using Lexmark eForms, eliminating the expense and inventory of pre-printed forms. Instead of copying documents and distributing hard copies, staffers are quickly adopting scan to email and sending versions electronically also using the Lexmark MFPs.
Working with Lexmark continues to be a bright spot for Bress’s Learning Through Technology & Media Services group. “We have always enjoyed a strong, collaborative relationship with Lexmark,” said Bress. “Our Lexmark account manager and systems engineer are always available by phone or in person to answer any question we have. We have always been impressed with the depth of Lexmark’s technical staff.”
School districts nationwide are wrestling with shrinking budgets and growing achievement standards. Florida’s Charlotte County Public Schools has addressed both demands by implementing Lexmark’s Testing & Grading solution.