Homestead Elementary School is one of more than 100 Tennessee schools that will use technology to boost achievement and guide instruction this school year as participants in Tennessee's Formative Assessment Pilot Project. The project uses online assessments throughout the year to help teachers know what students are learning and adjust instruction to help them master academic concepts on time. The number of participating schools has increased from 37 schools in 2005 to 112 schools this year.

"By analyzing student results throughout the year, teachers can better craft instruction to respond to students' needs," Education Commissioner Lana Seivers said. "This technology is another tool for teachers to gauge student progress on a continual basis and make the most of instructional time."

This is the second year Tennessee has contracted with The Princeton Review, Inc. to create questions aligned with Tennessee state standards. The program allows tests to be administered online or with pencil and paper. The partnership includes providing professional development to help teachers understand how to use the results to customize instruction.

Schools that participated in year one needed only to renew their application to continue in the program. State officials would like this program eventually to be an option to all schools free of charge.

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