The Future of PAWS Testing

K2's Ophelia Young reports, 

Despite last year's controversy over our PAWS testing, this year's session came and went quietly.  That's because the online section was moved to paper and pencil.  But this change won't last forever. 

PAWS was originally designed to keep up to speed with the technology our students are used to today. 

"(We are) taking advantage of technology in the classrooms," Natrona County School District's Trevor Mahlum said. "(We are) trying to also meet students where their reality is.  Many, if not all of our students, have a fairly high level of literacy today." 

But some things just didn't quite work.  The entire state had problems.  In fact, last year, the system actually began to crash as students submitted their answers online.  So this year, educational authorities decided to take the test offline and resume the test with paper and pencil. 

"All of the technological possible errors are not part of the system this year, so we're dealing with a fairly traditional old-school version of testing and it's pretty straight forward," Mahlum said. 

Though this year went well, educational authorities say they need to find a way to add the online portion back. 

"That conversation is happening against the backdrop of some national or multi-state consortia that are trying to develop tests that will be available in a couple of years," Mahlum said. 

The only thing the school district knows for sure is that next year's PAWS testing will be also be with paper and pencil.