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Standardized test scores

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

At your child's school, do parents automatically receive printed notices of their children's standardized test scores? When I was a public school student, parents received a printout from whatever company generated the tests. My son took standardized tests this year and we did not get a copy of a parent's report on the scores. Another mother in my son's class and I have been asking to see such results from the school, and have encountered a lot of weirdness. School is over and I still don't have scores in my hot little hand. I'm just curious about whether other school systems do this. 

 

(To clarify: our school has a policy in writing that they DO give parents access to standardized test scores as part of compliance with a state law that mandates parents have access to their children's temporary record/transcript. No one has said to us that we can't have the scores. They just...haven't given us the scores!) 

post #2 of 31
Yes, they are mailed to us late August. One year we didn't get them and I just stopped by the office and they looked them up on the computer. I do know it's handled differently from state to state but that's how it's been for us over the years.
post #3 of 31
In our state, they aren't available until fall. They are mailed to houses. The report had a lot of information about our child, their school, the district, and the state average.

Schools tend to have a skelton staff in summer, and they may not have the results yet anyway.
post #4 of 31

We've had some weirdness about them as well. I still haven't seen the fall/winter scores-nothing was provided, and I'm not sure when we'll see the spring scores.  TBH, we don't make a big deal about the scores.  I'm just interested.  

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

In our state, they aren't available until fall. They are mailed to houses. The report had a lot of information about our child, their school, the district, and the state average.

Schools tend to have a skelton staff in summer, and they may not have the results yet anyway.


To clarify, the teacher has the scores. I asked to see them several times when I met with her. Finally, at the end of the year, she gave me a summary in an email that didn't include the raw scores from the specific tests or even the percentiles--she just told me how many points he'd gone up since he took the first test (the results of which she didn't give me.) 

 

I'm asking here to see whether other parents have to ask to get the scores, and when they do ask, whether they get them. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post

We've had some weirdness about them as well. I still haven't seen the fall/winter scores-nothing was provided, and I'm not sure when we'll see the spring scores.  TBH, we don't make a big deal about the scores.  I'm just interested.  

 

Our school posts all the students' scores anonymously in a data wall. They are absolutely making a big deal out of them, in the aggregate, and they know exactly what my kid got on each of the three subject achievement tests. They just haven't shared information with me. 

 

I think I wouldn't care about the scores if they had shared them! The longer this goes on, the more unsettled and mistrustful I'm feeling. 

 

AND, more responses are very much appreciated! 

post #6 of 31

The teachers gave me the scores in my dd's last school but in this one I didn't see them and I really didn't care.  The scores don't mean a lot to me because my dd refuses to cooperate during the tests and the tests don't measure much until third grade.  It is odd that the teacher didn't give you the scores if you made frequent and repeated requests, but she may not see the test as an accurate measure of children's abilities so she may have not made an effort to remember to send the scores to you because it didn't seem like it was important to her.  Some states may have good tests that measure knowledge but that just isn't the case in our state.  The scores matter for funding but they are almost completely worthless beyond that.  I suggest sending an e-mail out to her again specifying that you want the exact scores or asking the office staff to look it up and give you the exact score.

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

No, no, the teacher thinks the scores are valid, she kept mentioning them when we talked. That's why I asked her whether I could see them at several parent-teacher meetings. She kept mentioning them and then putting me off about showing me the scores. AND, as I said above, I knew she had them because she summarized them (badly) for me in an email last week when I finally emailed her.

 

Also, the school posts the scores in the aggregate with the students' names taken off the individual scores. (Which you would think they would need parents' permission to do, right?) 

 

Finally I phoned the testing company to make sure they really did supply schools with a report for parents to see about individual students. Then I emailed and phoned the principal. She got back to me this evening and told me that in order to see the test scores, I have to submit a hard copy of a letter in writing with a signature. (Which I will do, of course.) 

 

 

Now I really want to know whether other parents have to do this to get access to test scores. 

 

 

 

post #8 of 31

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

 

Then I emailed and phoned the principal. She got back to me this evening and told me that in order to see the test scores, I have to submit a hard copy of a letter in writing with a signature. (Which I will do, of course.) 


no, but it was going to be my next suggestion for you!

 

I have a special needs child, and some things for her *must* be communicated in writing, in a real letter with a date and a signature. May be there is some law in your state. I don't know. It seems odd to me that that are making such a big deal over it.

 

What kind of standarized test is this? The one we got the big report on is the state wide test and is only given once a year, so kids can't improve their scores. It's just a snap shot.

 

The school also did occasional reading level test or math level test, and the results were easily available for the parents, sometimes just sent home with students like graded papers.

 

As far as posting the averages without IDing information, our state requires all districts posts that information on web sites so that parents can see how the districts are doing covering the material the state thinks is important. There can't be anything IDing about it -- if a very small number of children fall into one subset, that subset isn't posted. For example, all the results are broken down by race, but if a school has one Native American student in 4th grade, they won't post the average for Native Americans in 4th grade. The idea is that those averages reflect on the school rather than on the individual children.

 

post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

The school system's own parent handbook has a reference to the state regulation that gives parents access to these test results. Their handbook and the state reg. (which is online) both define all standardized test results as part of the student's temporary record, and say that the school has to release the record to the parent. The state says within ten days and the school's own policy says within two work days of the parent requesting the record.

 

The problem here is that there was no definition of the word "request." I think perhaps the school was concerned that since according to the state reg., they need to keep a log of access to each student's record, they needed a written request for student standardized test scores? The weird part to me is that the scores aren't treated like grades. Students are just sent home with their own grades--the school doesn't even mail them. 

 

I sent the request for the test scores this morning through the US mail with a tracking number so they can't say they didn't get it. I thought that was better than walking it over in person. 

The test is an achievement test called MAP. It's not a state test, but because our state is one of the enthusiastic school reform states, they do extra testing to check whether students below the age of the first state achievement test are doing OK. The testing company has a website that explains how to read the results. Basically, I wasn't concerned about these test results until I realized how many times the teacher had put me off when I asked for them. Then I had a conversation with another parent who hadn't been given her child's results when SHE asked for them, and told me that a THIRD mom in the classroom was also having trouble getting the record. 

 

I realize there are a lot of ways I could give the teacher and the administration the benefit of the doubt, so I'm going to try to just do that. In the meantime, I've read both the school's policy and the state reg. and both say I can appeal any decisions about my son's record. So if they try to make some claim about why they don't need to share this information with me, I have recourse. 

 

The fact that I would NEED recourse is RIDICULOUS, but there you have it. The teacher told me three or four times that she'd give me access to these scores, and didn't, the whole bleepin' year. 

post #10 of 31

We get the results of the state NCLB tests. They used to mail them in July but now you have to go pick them up to save postage I suppose. But my kids both took the IAAT in 6th grade and I never saw that, although the teacher did tell us what their scores were. I know the 2nd graders take some Iowa test and I don't remember getting the results from that when my son was in 2nd, of course that was a while ago. I think we just got some paper saying he scored high enough he qualified for the gifted program, which I guess is why they give the test.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

 

The test is an achievement test called MAP. It's not a state test, but because our state is one of the enthusiastic school reform states, they do extra testing to check whether students below the age of the first state achievement test are doing OK. The testing company has a website that explains how to read the results. Basically, I wasn't concerned about these test results until I realized how many times the teacher had put me off when I asked for them.



Ah, this might be the issue. Schools can be fussy with "achievement" tests. I do believe it's your right to know the results but they aren't technically "state tests." It's not surprising to me that you didn't automatically get them. My kids take all sorts of achievement type tests in a year and I don't get those results in the mail. I don't try to obtain these results often because it's not been neccessary for the most part. I did have to request to see their formal GATE results (we just get notified if they qualify) because we were looking at high schools and needed to know exact scores. It did take some doing but that was more because no one really knew what the protocol was on it and the request had to bounce around to various departments.

 

I think you made the right first step by formally requesting the results. Let's hope it is just one of those "duh, how do we do this" as opposed to purposely keeping them from you. Honestly, I don't see the benefit in that at all!

 

post #12 of 31

Not only were we notified (by e-mail from DD's teacher), the kids were individually told their scores by the classroom teacher. I thought that was very odd. I don't ever remember knowing my achievement test scores in the elementary grades. The state test here is scaled 1-5. We have not been given specific percentages, but told their scaled scores. 

post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by lindberg99 View Post

We get the results of the state NCLB tests. They used to mail them in July but now you have to go pick them up to save postage I suppose. But my kids both took the IAAT in 6th grade and I never saw that, although the teacher did tell us what their scores were. I know the 2nd graders take some Iowa test and I don't remember getting the results from that when my son was in 2nd, of course that was a while ago. I think we just got some paper saying he scored high enough he qualified for the gifted program, which I guess is why they give the test.


My mom told me that my elementary school also administered the Iowa test back in the 1970s, but they sent her the results. There was no gifted program at the time, they just....liked testing kids for intelligence, I guess. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

Ah, this might be the issue. Schools can be fussy with "achievement" tests. I do believe it's your right to know the results but they aren't technically "state tests." It's not surprising to me that you didn't automatically get them. My kids take all sorts of achievement type tests in a year and I don't get those results in the mail. I don't try to obtain these results often because it's not been neccessary for the most part. I did have to request to see their formal GATE results (we just get notified if they qualify) because we were looking at high schools and needed to know exact scores. It did take some doing but that was more because no one really knew what the protocol was on it and the request had to bounce around to various departments.

 

I think you made the right first step by formally requesting the results. Let's hope it is just one of those "duh, how do we do this" as opposed to purposely keeping them from you. Honestly, I don't see the benefit in that at all!

 

I agree that this is probably  "duh, how do we do this" moment, since they seem to be very disorganized about some things. Even if it was a move to block parents from accessing their children's academic information, I am going to act like this was a "duh, how do we do this" moment because otherwise I have to adopt a really adversarial position, and I don't want that. I like this school, for the most part. 

 

 

It is helpful to know that your school also administers achievement tests and doesn't send home the results. I don't think it's true that these tests don't matter. I am pretty sure the teacher this past year used the data to figure out how to teach my son. She mentioned it in passing at every parent-teacher conference and I always asked to see it. But knowing that other schools do this, I have some understanding of the mindset.

 

My paranoid mom friend spelled out what she thought the benefit would be of keeping the scores from the parents--if a child is gifted or learning disabled (or gifted AND learning disabled) parents might get some clue about that from the scores. Then parents would have to request additional testing and possible services, and the school doesn't want to pay for those. Better not to give parents the data. I could be swayed by that thinking...except that these folks really are discombobulated, and the bureaucratic screw-up explanation might be simpler to support!

post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 


Wow, that does seem kind of weird! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellie'sMom View Post

Not only were we notified (by e-mail from DD's teacher), the kids were individually told their scores by the classroom teacher. I thought that was very odd. I don't ever remember knowing my achievement test scores in the elementary grades. The state test here is scaled 1-5. We have not been given specific percentages, but told their scaled scores. 



 

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

Quote:

 

It is helpful to know that your school also administers achievement tests and doesn't send home the results. I don't think it's true that these tests don't matter. I am pretty sure the teacher this past year used the data to figure out how to teach my son. She mentioned it in passing at every parent-teacher conference and I always asked to see it. But knowing that other schools do this, I have some understanding of the mindset.

 

My paranoid mom friend spelled out what she thought the benefit would be of keeping the scores from the parents--if a child is gifted or learning disabled (or gifted AND learning disabled) parents might get some clue about that from the scores. Then parents would have to request additional testing and possible services, and the school doesn't want to pay for those. Better not to give parents the data. I could be swayed by that thinking...except that these folks really are discombobulated, and the bureaucratic screw-up explanation might be simpler to support!



I wouldn't say they don't matter either. The importance to any family will be individual and based entirely on what their child needs at the moment. When my kids first started school, those achievement tests were important because they helped all parties figure out what levels my kids needed to be working at. However, once accomodations were in place, once the kids were better and more confident in expressing their needs, once the curriculum opened up, achievement scores didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know. I wouldn't buy into your friends scenario. Most parents have a clue their child is advanced or struggling (or both... I have a gifted and a 2E gifted/learning disabled.) Achievement testing isn't usually a full-on "surprise" to anyone.

 

post #16 of 31

captain where i am the school is not allowed to disclose the results until a certain amount of time had passed. it was a district decision. after that the principal would just go online and print out the results immediately. but yes the school received the results almost immediately. 

 

so can you call your district office and find out what the protocol is?

post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

captain where i am the school is not allowed to disclose the results until a certain amount of time had passed. it was a district decision. after that the principal would just go online and print out the results immediately. but yes the school received the results almost immediately. 

 

so can you call your district office and find out what the protocol is?

Yes, as I wrote above, I phoned and emailed the interim principal until I got an answer, and then submitted a written request with a signature. I've also looked at the school system's record policy and the state's record policy.  I still don't have the test scores in hand. 

 

whatsnextmom, my son just finished second grade, and my paranoid parent friend had a child in the same class as mine. They had the same teacher for two years. So yes, they're still at the beginning of their school experience. She's pretty confident that her child is gifted and isn't being challenged in class. I think there might be additional information for me about how my son did this year in class in this exam. The teacher was not the best communicator, and I think she might have also screwed up a few things--right now I'm feeling guilty that I wasn't firmer about getting these scores during the year. 

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

Yes, as I wrote above, I phoned and emailed the interim principal until I got an answer, and then submitted a written request with a signature. I've also looked at the school system's record policy and the state's record policy.  I still don't have the test scores in hand. 

yes i read that. but that is not what i am saying. Call the district office. your school district office. talk to someone there or the superintendent to find out what the protocol is. just to second what the principal says. i am assuming when you say principal - you are directly talking to the school, not the district office which really (at least in our district) which makes the call what can be revealed and when. 
 

 

post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 

Oh, I see what you mean now! 


I am going to try to do what the principal asked first before I escalate and bring in the superintendent's office. I had already thought of sending a letter with a signature to the principal with a cc to the superintendent, but at that point I'm like, tattling on the teacher and the principal (who are both female) to the big daddy superintendent. My son is going to be a student at this school next year and I am already worried that I'm getting a reputation because I'm insisting on this. 

 

I have the district policy in hand, because it's online for everyone to read, so the only point to clarify in protocol is "what is a request." But I'll certainly send a written letter with a photocopy of the district policy to the superintendent's office as a next step if they don't give me the test results. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by meemee View Post

yes i read that. but that is not what i am saying. Call the district office. your school district office. talk to someone there or the superintendent to find out what the protocol is. just to second what the principal says. i am assuming when you say principal - you are directly talking to the school, not the district office which really (at least in our district) which makes the call what can be revealed and when. 



 

post #20 of 31

I think it's probably an issue of who has the authority to print you a copy of the scores. Our school does MAP testing, and as a teacher, I don't ever see a hard copy score report; my access is through my personal account on the company's website. If a parent asked me about a child's scores, I would talk about them but would not print a copy of the report because I don't know if that's allowable. Our district office handles the management of all testing data, and I would probably have to talk to them. I would do that, however, and it sounds like that's where there was a communication lapse on the part of your child's teacher. The principal is likely in the same situation. It may take a while to get a response from the school during the summer; a lot of schools around here have their administrators on an 11-month contract, and even the ones who work year-round typically take vacation in July.

 

 

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