New Century Makes Continuous Improvement Easy for Teachers

This shows the form behind the Continuous Improvement plan.

The Intelligent Tutoring System automates the steps of Continuous Improvement for reading, writing, language arts, and math, making it easy for teachers to implement across a whole class, as well as on a student by student basis.

Plan – New Century’s Diagnostic Tests take about 45 minutes to complete and are administered, scored, and reported automatically. Using adaptive diagnostics, the tests adapt items based on a student’s prior responses to “drill down” and determine his or her specific needs across several strands of learning, even if the student’s skill gaps are more than two grade levels below enrollment. Teachers and administrators receive data to help them group students according to their needs under an RtI or layered instruction program, and to plan the instructional focus for their class.

Using data from the Diagnostic Test, New Century’s management system instantly generates an individualized Education plan for each student. Instead of assigning students a grade level or module, the Intelligent Tutoring System assigns lessons by discrete learning objectives that the student needs to master. Instruction is efficient and measurable gains are relatively rapid.

Do – The New Century curricula are research based and deliver rigorous lessons that are designed to teach new skills, not just drill and practice. Lessons therefore fulfill the different needs among students for tutorials, enrichment, and maintenance. The software scores lessons and reports gains by group or individual student.

Check – Embedded in the Individualized lesson path are electronically scored Interim Assessments that continuously evaluate and report student progress by learning objective for both groups and individuals. The reports are designed to help teachers and administrators rapidly identify opportunities to adjust instruction. Regular reporting for parents is also generated automatically in English and in Spanish.

Act – Data from the Interim Assessments is used by the learning management system to seamlessly adjust each student’s lesson path to closely match his developing needs. Students who struggle receive additional developmental tutorials; they do not simply repeat the same lesson over and over again. Students who learn quickly receive appropriate enrichment and are accelerated through the path. Continuous improvement is therefore achieved on the individual student level. On the whole class level, the Intelligent Tutoring System’s group reports of Objectives Mastery help teachers and administrators determine which students continue to be at risk for specific district or state standards. Teachers can adjust their whole classroom instruction accordingly. Teachers and principals also can re-group students by needs and assign additional layers of instruction or programming where appropriate.

Results: In independent studies with control groups, teachers and their students who use New Century demonstrated superior results on state proficiency tests in California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia. By automating much of the process, New Century makes Continuous Improvement a realistic and successful model for teachers and administrators.