Use of digital, adaptive learning programs such as those produced by Merit reduce the need for annual standardized testing in core subjects, particularly English Language Arts, in U.S. public schools.
The programs’ built-in tracking and feedback provide useful formative assessments for teachers, parents, and administrators.
It is easy to compare the results of users of the programs to get a snapshot of competency. Merit learning programs are also for teachers to learn to use.
Technology associated with adaptive programs is no longer a barrier. Student use of Internet in schools has increased dramatically. Schools are providing better training and equipment.
Standardized tests have their place, and should not be abandoned altogether. However, adaptive learning software can, and should, be used to monitor and enhance student achievement.