Friday, May 25, 2012

Testing - A Giant in the Land

Testing on any level is usually not a positive situation. Too often, we as moms, feel that we are being tested. We wonder if we have been adequate, if we have done enough.

We need to remember that a test is a tool, not the final judge.

I chose to attend this workshop because their are so many testing options out there. And because hopefully it will ease my concerns and confusion.

Why Do We Test?
  • to comply with NC law
  • to get information
  • to explore possible dysfunction
A test can be like a photograph - beautifully taken & very flattering or blurry & out of focus.

Norm-Referenced -
norm means compared
standard public school bubble test
score is based on comparison, not number correct/incorrect
created to compare large groups
administered to many students to find the average
  • Stanford Achievement Test (SAT)
  • Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)
  • California Achievement Test (CAT)
  • TerraNova/CAT 6
  • Personalized Achievement Summary System (PASS
Criterion Referenced -
score is directly from content
score based on correct/incorrect answers
verbal-interactive format
  • Woodcock Johnson
  • Brigance
Reading the results are very different. If your child takes a norm-referenced test while in the 3rd grade & the score states 7th grade 5th month, this does not mean they are reading on a 7th grade level. It means they are reading as well as a middle 7th grader would read 3rd grade material. However, if the same child takes a criterion referenced test & scores 7th grade 5th month, then they are truly reading on a 7th grade level.

How Do I Choose a Test?
  • know your purpose
  • know your child's ability & personality
  • know yourself
  • know your finances
Pros & Cons
Norm Referenced
  • easy to get
  • lower cost
  • take longer
  • not certain why they may miss something
Criterion Referenced
  • specific errors are shown
  • helpful for choosing next years curriculum
  • less time consuming
  • usually more expensive
  • does not prepare for college or timed tests
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