Thursday, May 28, 2009

Testing time

Tis the season for standardized testing.  Since we're in New York State, the requirement is to start doing either a written annual assessment or standardized testing at the end of the year, beginning in 4th grade.

My son is ending 5th grade, and we opted to report testing this year.  I've used the CAT-5 complete battery for him in 3rd grade to get acquainted with the format, and to see just how this whole teaching-my-own-kid-at-home thing was actually working.  The CAT tests are not achievement tests, they are nationally-normed standardized ones, so it gave me a picture of where we stacked up compared to the rest of the country.

This time, I'm using the CAT-E, which tests just English Language and Math skills.  The boy is already complaining and wanting to "get it over with".   I wonder if that will translate into actually applying himself or just marking things to get done...

As much as I don't like having to report to the district, or anyone, I do like having the option to test against national norms.  Sometimes you can feel very much adrift, and it is nice to see some numbers to validate the work we've been doing.  And if the numbers are really abysmal, it serves as a good objective tool to 'remind' the student where they need to apply themselves more.   Sort of a counterpoint to me cussing...