standardized tests... help me feel better! - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have read a lot about how kids are tested too much etc etc.  I say I won't put much stock in state tests but I get the results and mecry.gif

 

 

I have my kids in a K12 virtual public school, so we have to do all the state tests and the prep, too.  So, can't blame not knowing what to expect. Against my wishes, we even did do some "drilling".

 

My 3rd grader got a "proficient" in math and reading.  However, his scores were slightly below the state average.  We are in a lower preforming state so... well, I can't help but feel like a failure!  This is all on me afterall!  I really expect my "perfect" child who gets so much one on one attention to score "advanced."  I guess it is just so disheartening to think that we are working so hard and sacrificing so much (for me to stay home and homeschool) just to have an average or below student!

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:35 PM
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Is this the first test he's taken?  Because that might have something to do with it too.  I remember getting bored in my 3rd grade tests and just marking stuff. LOL


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Old 06-28-2012, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, he had to do them for 1st and 2nd grade.  He knew they were important.  He says on some of the parts he didn't even finish before time was up.  I am confident he tried his best.

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:55 PM
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Was he fine on 1st and 2nd grade tests?  If so, then perhaps he is just having a bit of trouble, or it was related to him not finishing.   I wouldn't worry.  We all take a bad test once or twice.


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Old 06-28-2012, 01:19 PM
 
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I guess it is just so disheartening to think that we are working so hard and sacrificing so much (for me to stay home and homeschool) just to have an average or below student!

 

Maybe you could re-evaluate your reasons for staying home and homeschooling.  Other reasons might include developing a wonderful relationship with your son, helping him to discover his passions, and providing a healthier environment in which he can learn and grow.

 

Maybe you will decide that the tests don't reflect all the wondrous things he knows.  Maybe you will decide that the questions on the tests are just one slice of all the things to know about the world, and not necessarily the right slice for everyone.

 

Maybe you will decide that the virtual school isn't the right kind of homeschooling for you and your son, because it makes you feel bad about your son when, left to your own without the tests, you feel good about him.

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Old 06-28-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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Maybe you could re-evaluate your reasons for staying home and homeschooling.  Other reasons might include developing a wonderful relationship with your son, helping him to discover his passions, and providing a healthier environment in which he can learn and grow.

 

Maybe you will decide that the tests don't reflect all the wondrous things he knows.  Maybe you will decide that the questions on the tests are just one slice of all the things to know about the world, and not necessarily the right slice for everyone.

 

Maybe you will decide that the virtual school isn't the right kind of homeschooling for you and your son, because it makes you feel bad about your son when, left to your own without the tests, you feel good about him.


I think these are good points to think about.

 

I suggest lessening the importance of the test results for yourself and your ds. It is just information about how your ds performed on one test. It doesn't give the whole picture of who he is or what he can do.

 

Use the results positively instead of feeling despair. Think of the lower scores as simply showing you areas where you might focus more in future with your ds.

 

What if your ds really is below average in some areas and it has nothing to do with homeschooling? Maybe you have a kid who needs a different approach to learning or has more challenges. It doesn't mean you've failed. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

 

Do you feel your ds has made progress while homeschooling? Compare him to where he was working a year ago in each subject instead of looking at the test scores comparing him to the average.

 

I know without any testing that my dd is working well below grade level in math but I also know that she has made so much progress this year that I can't really feel bad about that achievement. Math has always been a struggle for her and it is awesome how far she has come in a short time. If she were in school maybe she would have been shamed for being behind or given up in frustration.


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Old 06-30-2012, 08:26 AM
 
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I just had my 4th grader do state standardized testing for the first time (we live in a different state now that requires it), and just got our scores.  I watched dd take the test and read the questions afterwards to know what was what with it (I gave the CAT).   My dd did great on some subjects and really really poorly on others.   Her scores when all averaged together meet our state standards, so at least I am OK with the state, but it was eye opening.  I realized reading our scores that my dd has a learning disability (I had felt something was going on, but just couldn't put that lable on it)- for her, she does great on things that are auditory, but she has visual perceptual processing issues, and the written test really messed her up.  Based on what she did and did not understand, I am backing up and reteaching certain parts of math with different manipulatives.   So far, we have done one week of my new style, and my dd is SO happy.  Its weird, for a kid who has professed to hate math for 5 years, she is choosing to play with numbers and asking me to give her problems to work.  I am very stressed that I have to figure this out- this week we did addition with carrying, but now I have to teach subtraction with borrowing, reteach multiplying and dividing.  I am looking at using more montessori materials for all of it.

 

Anyway, my point is, I realized from our testing that the curriculum choices I have made in math for years, just didn't work for her.  Maybe the K-12 style just isn't working for your kid's learning style.  Maybe he needs more hands on, or more repetition or more auditory....  You are right, its on you, so you can choose to do something different next year and see if it works out better.

 

Peace,


Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:52 AM
 
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I have read a lot about how kids are tested too much etc etc.  I say I won't put much stock in state tests but I get the results and mecry.gif


I have my kids in a K12 virtual public school, so we have to do all the state tests and the prep, too.  So, can't blame not knowing what to expect. Against my wishes, we even did do some "drilling".

My 3rd grader got a "proficient" in math and reading.  However, his scores were slightly below the state average.  We are in a lower preforming state so... well, I can't help but feel like a failure!  This is all on me afterall!  I really expect my "perfect" child who gets so much one on one attention to score "advanced."  I guess it is just so disheartening to think that we are working so hard and sacrificing so much (for me to stay home and homeschool) just to have an average or below student!

His scores were below what, specifically. State scores for alk schools, public and private? State scores for the online school?

Before getting down on yourself, get ALL the facts. I had an interesting conversation with a superintendent of schools who told me the state testing in the public schools were so pressure filled for the teachers that they frequently would stop at the desk of a questioning student and point to the correct answer! The teachers were assisting with cheating! They wanted to protect their jobs and the schools wanted good scores to get state funding, so it seemed logical to them to 'help' the students do well.

I always looked over the test before sending off to be graded when we had testing years.I noticed that my son's attention to detail lessened as the amount of time sitting went up. By asking him the same questions while he was walking, I realized he had the knowledge, just lacked an ability to sit for the length of time required for the test. Oh well.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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His scores were below what, specifically. State scores for alk schools, public and private? State scores for the online school?
 

 He was below the state average score and slightly below the online school's average score.  He took another test for the online school.  It is a Scantron online test.  He totally aced it, getting 91st and 93rd percentile in reading and math.  It was done online at home and not timed.  He got up often and took breaks.  From the outside, I know it could look like we cheated, but no, he just tested better like that I guess.  That or the online one was somehow inflating the grades?

On a side note, I really don't think that teachers (in mass- enough to affect state scores overall) would be giving kids answers, but it blows my mind that the "average" for the whole state (a poor performing one, historically, at that) is at the "advanced" level.  Something is fishy there... 

Overall, we are happy with k12.  I don't think it is necesarily a perfect fit, but I would need endless patience and money to find what would be.  Someday, we may try to switch to a private school, so I think staying with sort of this hybrid approach is best for us.  I want him to be able to perform well in a stricter classroom environment (like that test was) when called for, though I love that I have given him a more relaxed approach these earlier years.

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Old 07-11-2012, 06:59 PM
 
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Since he aced the untimed tests when he was allowed breaks, you have nothing to fear as far as his knowledge level or learning ability.

As for teachers not cheating enough to inflate the scores....everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, since there is no proof
The superintendent I was talking with told me he does not consider the scores acurate at all.
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