Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Standardized Testing Thoughts

In the state of North Carolina - our home state, we actually do not have many regulations or requirements on our homeschool, but there is one that I am not friends with!

 The requirements are:

Parents/guardians residing in North Carolina and desiring, to home school their children who are at least age 7 but not yet age 16 must:

Hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent;

Send a Notice of Intent to Operate a Home School. The notice must include the name and address of the school along with the name of the school's owner and chief administrator;

Elect to operate under either as a religious or as a non-religious school;

Operate the school "on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year";

Maintain at the school disease immunization and annual attendance records for each student; 

Have a nationally standardized achievement test administered annually to each student. The test must involve the subject areas of English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. Records of the test results must be retained at the home school for at least one year and made available  when requested. (my enemy)

Notify when the school is no longer in operation.

Personally I love that this is all the requirements that I have. So you see from reading this that I have to administer an annual test regardless if I want to or not! 

Personally I do not agree that this is accurate at measuring my child's or any child's knowledge.

I was reading information on testing and came across an article that was in favor of testing. The reasons given where along the lines of everyone having the same opportunities, Your name and money couldn't buy you out of it, and it helped the schools to measure how good they are doing in education. Really??

But in all seriousness can't you look at a child's growth within a year and assess it from that? I don't need to be bought out of it either way I think if you or your child apply themselves everyone has great opportunities given.

No test is good enough to serve as the primary basis for important educational decisions. Tests that measure as little and as poorly as multiple-choice tests cannot provide genuine accountability. Pressure to teach to the test distorts and narrows education.

The U.S. is the only economically advanced nation to rely heavily on multiple-choice tests. Other nations use performance-based assessment where students are evaluated on the basis of real work such as essays, projects and activities. Ironically, because these nations do not focus on teaching to multiple-choice tests, they even score higher than U.S. students on those kinds of tests.

Just a thought... 

Pray for my kids and myself as this is actually our testing week. We have already had tears from having to guess at some items in math that my daughter didn't know. She said guessing made her feel stupid. Bless that perfection in her...