Thursday, April 5, 2012
Have you ever heard of the Terra Nova Assessment Series? No, not the Terra Nova television series. What about the FCAT, TAKS, SAT-9, CTBS/5, or ITBS? The last one sounds a little like irritable bowel syndrome doesn't it? These strange sounding terms might cause irritable bowel or a headache if you or your child are getting ready for one.
All of the above are references to state or national standardized tests for school-age students. The powers that be have determined that testing is the best way to measure a student's educational achievement. There are as many pros and cons to testing as there are folks who support and denounce testing as a means of showing accountability.
One major problem I personally have with testing is the simple fact that some kids are just not test takers, however, they are very bright students. Some kids have a learning challenge that interferes with paper and pencil testing, and some kids freeze when it comes to tests. The visual-spatial learner, the dyslexic kid, or the kid with CAPD, not to mention the kid with dysgraphia, are at a disadvantage as far as standardized testing is concerned . They usually do not score well on paper and pencil tests even though many of them are very capable students with a good IQ.
Homeschool standardized testing has a slight advantage over public school standardized testing in that some homeschooled kids can be tested by a qualified tester in the comfort of their own home, or in a small group setting. More breaks are offered, and possibly less stress is experienced. Some states do not require testing at all, while some require the student to be tested, but the scores are not required to be turned into the school district or authorities.
What are your thoughts on standardized testing in general and in relationship to homeschooled students? I would love to hear from you.