Lincoln County School District, Nevada
WRITING AIDS AND ASSESSMENT SOFTWARE
WHAT EDUCATORS HAVE HAD TO SAY
Subsequent to the initial field test of WordMAP WAAS™ in 1985-86, the following official statement was issued under the district letterhead:
April 16, 1986
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Long before the advent of A NATION AT RISK, the Lincoln County School District analyzed its curriculum and established goals and objectives for a writing program. However, the assessment of the program and the evaluation of students remained on a rather subjective basis. Coupled with the lack of objective measurement, there was no provision for tracking student writing development from year to year.
In December of 1984, WordMAP™ was demonstrated by Dr. Eldon Lytle to District administrators and the Board of Trustees. Since the linguistic testing facilities of this software appeared to respond to District needs, approval was granted for a field test of the software.
During the initial phase of the test, student writing samples were analyzed by WordMAP™ and linguistic norms for the District were established. Subsequently, these norms were used as a basis for comparative evaluation of student linguistic maturity. Other tests relating to WORD-BUILDING SKILLS, USE OF ADVANCED VOCABULARY, VOCABULARY REDUNDANCY, DESCRIPTIVE CONTENT, USE OF COMPLEX STRUCTURES, and PROFICIENCY IN GRAMMAR were also carried out using WordMAP™.
During the 1986 school year, a two-phase writing cycle was introduced. Students typed first-draft compositions on individual work stations and submitted them to WordMAP™ for a spelling/grammar check. Listings generated by the software marked spelling and grammatical errors for students to correct by themselves. The improved papers were then resubmitted to WordMAP™ for final evaluation and testing.
The field test has provided objective data relating to specific strengths and weaknesses of our English students which was not previously available to us. As of the current date, the District has purchased additional equipment and is exercising its option to use WordMAP™ on a continuing basis.
In our opinion, systematic and frequent use of this software as an integral part of a coordinated, district-wide writing program will result in substantially improved writing by our students.
Signed: Dr. Neldon C. Mathews, Superintendent
For the full text of the report, click here.
Seven years later, a principal of that same district issued the following testimonial:
We’ve been using WordMAP since 1985. During that period of time, CTBS scores, state proficiency scores, and ACT scores have all shown marked improvement. Teachers appreciate its adaptability to student grade levels and specific instructional tasks. Alumni now attending college frequently request to use WordMAP during home visits.