Our Family

Our Family

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Story About Standardized Testing

I don't have a very good opinion of standardize Testing. I really think it is pointless actually. It is also very sad that basically our Public School System teaches not to educate our children , but to achieve good test scores. Arkansas requires homeschooled students to take the Math and Reading portions of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills every year in grades 3-9. Individual test results are sent to the parents and results of homeschool students as a group (not individual results) are reported to the state. Our homeschool group (which is pretty small) has its own testing site and we test at a local church. When I started homeschooling Chelsea, she had gone to Public School for K-2 so she had taken Iowa Tests before and was used to a fill in the bubble kind of test. Nick has always been homeschooled so he has never taken this kind of test before. Also, Nick does not like to be in unsure situations. He likes to know exactly what will happen and when it's going to happen. Even though it does not really matter to me how the children do on the test I wanted him to be comfortable taking it. So, I ordered a practice test booklet to show him what type of test it was going to be and how to fill in his answers on a separate sheet. Well, I sat down with him a few days ago to work on the practice test and he got very upset because there were questions he didn't know the answers to. I stressed to him that sometimes you might not know the answer and on this test all he had to do was guess and move on. Of course he was not at all happy with the thought of that. He likes to have all the answers. Last night he was a little stressed about the test and again I told him just to do his best, it would be an easy test, and to guess and move on if he didn't know the answer. Parents are not allowed to be in the same room with their children who are taking the test and I had all my little ones so I was in the nursery during the test. When he got finished Nick came over to where I was and told me it was a super easy test.....the questions were like Kindergarten and he knew most of the answers. It was nothing like he expected it to be. So, in my effort to prepare him and try to make him not worry, I actually caused him more worry because the practice test questions were much more difficult than the actual test. Well at least we are done for this year and don't have to worry about it again until next year.
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