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We hope you are enjoying your summer.

This is the last reminder that we will be moving around some data within our system on August 1, 2016.

Users and classes will not be deleted, but some data older than 1 year will be removed.  For example, all archived assignments and benchmarks older than 1 year will be deleted.  

For complete details, please refer to our data management policy.

We look forward to being your classroom partner again in the new school year!

The USATestprep Team

Thank you to the 1,602 teachers and 31,010 students who completed USATestprep’s year-end survey.  We greatly appreciate your feedback.

98% of teachers and 90% of students who took the survey said USATestprep was helpful to them this year. Your overwhelmingly positive support is greatly appreciated.  A special thanks, too, to all who shared detailed feedback and offered suggestions for enhancements.

Congratulations to the following: 

Student Winners

Sokhna from Georgia

Hannah from Missouri

Lauren from South Carolina

Jenny from South Carolina

Alison from Oklahoma

Piper from Oklahoma

D’Anna from Georgia

Isaac from Florida

Dina from Indiana

Natasha from Missouri

Alyssa from Georgia

Teacher Winners

Rae from South Carolina

Marilyn from Pennsylvania

Phillip from Tennessee

Take advantage of our July Special and get one month free!

Renew or place a new order using the promo code JULYSPECIAL by July 31, 2016 and receive a FREE MONTH added to your subscription(s).

Your school is eligible for this offer regardless of your current account expiration date. We will simply extend your subscription from your current expiration date and add a free month. This includes access to all upgrades implemented in the coming year, at no extra cost. Click here to subscribe and receive your free month.

We appreciate the opportunity to provide ongoing support to you and wish you a great summer.

Terms: The July Special applies only to orders placed from July 1 to July 31, 2016, and is based on current pricing. Orders placed prior to July 1st or after July 31st are not eligible. Please reference the promo code JULYSPECIAL when placing your order.

This is a new feature within the Admin area —> Progress Reports tab —> look for the BETA link in the top right corner of the tab.

Admins can create a custom Excel export with any of the following information:

  • Progress report data based on: benchmarks, tests, and/or practice questions
  • Total time on site vs. specific test
  • Total time by activity type (tests, practice, games, and videos)
  • Total completed activities by type (benchmarks, tests, practice, games, and videos)
  • Grade level
  • Total logins
  • Specific date range

***One note is that an admin user will first select the class(es) in order to choose students. However, the progress report data, time, and counts are NOT restricted to that class. Choosing a class is just a way to pick students. This means that activities that students complete on their own DO count towards this export.

 

Congratulations on making it to the end of another school year. We trust it was a successful one and that we helped you to prepare your students accordingly. As the school year concludes we wanted to make you aware of two things.

Data Management Policy

Before the start of each school year, we do move around some data within our system. We do not delete users – that is a job left for school admins – but some data older than 1 year will be deleted. For complete details, please refer to our data management policy located here in the Help section in the “Downloads” tab.

2016 User Survey

Over 1,600 educators from across 23 states completed our survey.  98% of these respondents felt that USATestprep helped their students review for their tests. We are very proud of this statistic.

Congratulations to Our Winners

These survey-takers had their names drawn and will each receive a $50 Gift Card:

  • Rae from South Carolina

  • Marilyn from Pennsylvania

  • Phillip from Tennessee

As always, thanks for using USATestprep, and have a great summer!

Do schools in low–income areas perform badly on tests?  What about schools in areas where only a small percentage of adults have a college degree?  Or schools in communities where most residents rent rather than own?

These are questions we hoped to answer as we studied data from over 8,000 students in 42 randomly-selected schools. Below are details on our research.

Methodology and Sample Size

Test scores were collected from 8,031 middle school and high school students in 42 randomly selected schools from 5 states. These schools are in both major metropolitan areas and rural communities.  The average per capita income for the zip codes of the 42 schools is $25,102, or about 12% less than the national average. The test scores came from the subject areas of Reading, Science, ELA, and History.  Per capita income data came from Census.gov.  Data on owner-occupied housing came from ZipWho.com.  Data on college degrees came from the WashingtonPost.

After compiling and analyzing the test scores, we did not find what we expected – at the outset. While there are some exceptions, most data indicates that low income correlates with lower test scores.

Little or no research has been done on the correlation between schools in areas with a high percentage of rentals versus a high percentage of owner-occupied dwellings.  Also, we have been unable to find any previously published data on the correlation between the percent of college-educated adults in a community and that community’s test scores.

The test scores used in this article have been taken from assessments on USATestprep’s platform. Data on income, college education, and owner-occupied housing is for each school’s physical zip code.

Below are the schools’ test scores by income, percent of college-educated adults, and percent of owner-occupied housing.   

Test Scores by Per Capita Income

6th-12th Grade Test Scores by Income

Test Scores by Percent of College-Educated

Test Scores by Percent of College Educated Adults in Community

Test Scores by Owner-Occupied Housing

Test Scores by Percent of Owner-Occupied Housing in Community

 

InfoGraphic from CouponBox.com

May means the beginning of the summer development cycle for USATestprep’s content team. We’ll be making new tests and updating existing ones for next school year.

The performance task, video, and free-response item fill projects are just about wrapped up, and tremendous progress has been made. Below are the number of standards we have filled since January. These are elements which now have at least one of each item type in them:

  • Science: +339 performance tasks; +242 videos; +1,118 free response items
  • Math: +230 videos; +2,140 free response items
  • Social Studies: +425 performance tasks; +160 videos; +2,300 free response items
  • ELA: +333 videos; +116 free response items

 

Teacher pay, by state, is easy to find online.  However, some states have higher costs of living than others. For example, $50,000 in California spends much differently than it does in Tennessee.  With that in mind, which states have the best- and worst-compensated teachers, given cost of living and taxes?  With the help of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Forbes, and other sources, we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst states for teachers – not by pay, but by “adjusted pay.” You can download the spreadsheet with salary, cost of living, and tax data here.  We’ve even adjusted the middle school teacher salary figures from each state to reflect the cost of living and taxes, so that you can compare “apples to apples”.

Teacher Pay and Standard of Living in the US5 Highest Paying Cities for K-12 TeachersElement3rv1Element4rv1ElementFooterE1-1ElementFooterE4ElementFooterE5ElementFooterE3ElementFooterE2

35 Facebook Pages for Teachers to Follow

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite Facebook pages with original ideas, inspiration, and resources for teachers. You’ll notice that many of these wonderful pages are teacher-created.  The teaching world is full of content from national organizations, so we decided to be a voice for some of the grassroots inspiration on social media. Be sure to “Like” the pages you find useful as you explore and use these resources. Perhaps you will be inspired to share some of your own tried and true classroom tips.

  1. Teaching Channel – A page where teachers can watch, share, and learn diverse techniques to help their students grow.
  2. Free Tech for Teachers – Featuring the best free technology for teachers and students, curated by Richard Byrne.
  3. Teaching Resources – Ready-to-use classroom resources for 2nd-6th grade, from retired teacher Laura Candler.  Over 600,000 “Likes.”
  4. The Cornerstone for Teachers – Practical ideas to make teaching more effective, efficient, and enjoyable. Printables, classroom photos, tips, and more for teachers.
  5. Mathematics Teaching Resources – Resources for educators from educators. 35,000 links and growing.
  6. ELA Teaching Resources – Great resources and articles for ELA teachers. A sister page to the two pages below.
  7. Health & Physical Ed Teaching Resources – Articles, lessons plans, activities, quizzes and more for your classroom.
  8. ELL Teaching Resources – Articles, games, and inspiration for ESL teachers.
  9. Classroom Freebies – Free resources curated by Charity Preston.  Over 120,000 followers!
  10. Classroom Desk Arrangement – Giveaways and a wealth of seating chart ideas for your classroom. Lots of photos and descriptions, with new ones added frequently.
  11. Surviving a Teacher’s Salary – This page, with over 400,000 “Likes,” shares educational deals to help you stretch your budget or salary as much as possible.
  12. What the Teacher Wants – Tips and gift ideas for teachers.  Over 200,00 followers.
  13. The Teacher Wife – Creative resources for preschool and elementary teachers. 37,000+ currently follow this page.
  14. Anna Brantley’s Teaching Resources – Engaging and fun K-2 teaching ideas and resources from elementary school teacher Anna Brantley.
  15. Mrs Jump’s Class – This page provides creative, kid-friendly activities and lessons based on Common Core standards that inspire teachers and parents. Another page with over 30,000 “Likes.”
  16. Laura Love to Teach – A place to find resources and ideas for your elementary classroom.
  17. Schoolgirl Style – Fresh designs and stylish classroom decor for the modern teacher. Get inspiration for a classroom facelift.
  18. A Modern Teacher – Resources, articles, and simple solutions for grade school teachers.
  19. Kleinspiration – Question of the day, technology tools, and ideas for teachers.
  20. A Teacher’s Bag of Tricks –  Tons of free or nearly free resources for teachers to use in their classrooms. You’ll find websites, PDFs, documents, PowerPoints and more.
  21. Rockin Teacher Materials – Materials from Hilary Lewis for classroom use. Most items are excellent for homeschoolers too.
  22. Gerry Brooks – Humor for teachers by a school principal. Sarcastic webcam videos and more.
  23. Hopkins Hoppin Blog – Strategies, activities, games, books, freebies, lesson ideas, products, and songs for pre-K to late elementary.
  24. 3rd Grade Thoughts – Post by Stephanie, a 3rd grade teacher in Colorado, who loves sharing & learning from other teachers around the country.
  25. My Teacher’s Lounge – A community of 15 educators sharing ideas for more positive and practical classrooms. Weekly tips and inspiration for teachers.
  26. Teachers.net on Facebook – Follow this page for free lesson plans, teacher chatboards, live workshops, and more.
  27. The Busy Educator – A page to help teachers and parents make a difference in the lives of their students and children by doing things that work.
  28. Turnstall’s Teaching Tidbits – Ongoing inspiration to help you teach with heart and creativity.
  29. Chalk One Up for the TeacherA great place to share and collect teaching-related ideas. Giveaways too!
  30. Joy of Teaching – A page dedicated to encouraging teachers and parents to actively pursue better and more efficient ways of teaching kids.
  31. Teach Junkie – A creative page featuring teacher ideas, activities, and free downloads.
  32. Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations – Resources and funny memes for elementary school teachers. Over 90,000 followers.
  33. Our Kids Special Needs – A page for parents to find and share information to provide the best care they can for their children with special needs.
  34. Just ReedThe page for exclusive freebies, teaching ideas, and more.
  35. I Appreciate Teachers – Memes and cartoons to encourage teachers. Over 143,000 people follow this page.

35 Facebook Pages for Teachers to Follow