Some Utah schools will be piloting computer-adaptive testing programs this fall while being exempt from state testing requirements.

The State Board of Education unanimously gave the go-ahead Friday to Sevier, Juab and Millard school districts; Cherry Hill and Meadow elementary schools in Alpine School District; John Hancock Charter School in Pleasant Grove; and Summit Academy Charter School in Draper.

A computer-adaptive exam changes to fit a student's ability. For example, if a student answers a question correctly, the next question is different than if the previous question had been answered wrong.

The computer-adaptive test is generally given three times a year so as to better monitor students academically.

During a special session last September, the Utah Legislature approved the pilot program for three rural school districts; two urban school districts; and five charter schools. It is scheduled to end June 30, 2010.

Three more charter schools and one more urban district could have been accepted but they didn't apply, said Judy Park, state education associate superintendent of data, assessment and accountability.

Sevier and Juab have already been piloting the computer-adaptive testing program while also meeting the state testing requirements. "So far the pilots have been very successful," Park said.

— Amy K. Stewart