Saturday, January 9, 2010

Effective Schools #6 - Meaningful Assessment/Testing

Effective School Point #6

According to New Visions for Public Schools it is a fact that students are tested to determine how much knowledge they have retained and how well a school or system is performing. Affective schools will assess or test students in different ways to show they mastered certain objectives. Teachers should use test results to help plan future lessons and when to reteach concepts students have not mastered. Assessment should help teachers meet the needs of all children, by moving children forward or reteach and review for students who do not understand a concept. Certain assessments are necessary to make sure every child receives the "Best Education Possible".

Parents should ask questions about how to read the standardized test result, so they truly understand exactly the strengths and weaknesses of their child. Make sure you go over your child's mid-term report because this is the half way point of the grading period. This way you know what needs to be done in order for your child needs to do to improve or maintain current grades.

Questions and things to do:

1. Does your child get to do projects or presentations for a grade? Every child learns differently and not all children take paper and pencil or computerized test very well. With a project, usually students have a choice and can pick a topic of interest.

2. Do you know what your child is doing in each subject. This is usually more of a concern from second or third grade where the teacher will give mid-term reports. Make sure you check all papers and make an appointment with the teachers if papers suddenly stop coming home.

3. Standardized test scores will tell you a lot about your child's knowledge and progress compared to other children the same age. Ask the teacher to interpret the test because the report sent home can be confusing.

4. If your child does not take standardized test well, have them take a testing skills class or ask the teacher some things you can do to help your child improve on test taking. Sometimes the child is just nervous and needs to calm down before starting.


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