Testing Issues in Public Schools
One of the most commonly accepted and yet highly
controversial measures of a student's ability to grasp
course material is through testing. With the
accountability standards of this administrations "No Child
Left Behind" education policy, testing has taken an even
more prominent role in the education of our children.
As parents, we understand that testing is a fundamental
part of education. The question is are our children
being adequately prepared for testing.
More often than not, children are whisked through course
material at break neck speeds to guarantee that all topics
have been covered by the end of the term. Many
children are left behind because teachers no longer have
the luxury of making sure everyone in the class has
grasped the material before they are forced to move ahead.
Taking that basic fact into consideration, what happens
when our children are faced with the additional handicap
of being instructed by unqualified, unmotivated, and
Who steps in to assist the classroom full of middle school
students whose teacher doesn't use proper conversational
grammar and are expected to judge whether sentence
formation is correct on a test? What about the
English major teaching your child Math who would clearly
be lost without the answers in the teacher's edition text?
What about the apathetic teacher that can't motivate his
or her students and couldn't care less? For students
facing these types of obstacles in their general
instruction we must ask ourselves and our local school
boards, ... "Are our children being adequately prepared to
be successful when tested?" Unfortunately, for many
school age children these situations are commonplace and
very typical of the state of education in America.
For concerned parents home schooling isn't an alternative
to public education. It's what happens when their
children get home from a day within our public schools.
These links are chosen to give you some insight into some
of the testing programs that are used within public
schools, the types of test being administered, and tips on
how to help your children be successful in testing.
We hope parents find them useful in preparing their
children for successful testing experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
for Families and Communities
Helping Your Child with Test-Taking -- Helping Your Child
Succeed in School
Iowa Testing Programs:
Description of ITBS Test (Primary Levels)
Description of ITBS Test (Grades 3-8)
Assessment and Evaluation
Knowing the Score on Test
With a Proliferation
of Standardized Exams, Educators and Parents Wonder What
to Make of the Results
Should you hold your child back?
When Report Cards Don't Make the Grade
PBS Frontline: Testing Our
In Your State
(excerpt) What are the
standards and testing policies in your state? How does your
state compare to others on the National Assessment of
Use the map and links on this site for
information on standards and testing in all 50 states.
NEW STATE-BY-STATE SURVEY CONCLUDES
MOST ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS NEED MAJOR CHANGES;
STATES JUST "TINKERING AT THE EDGES OF REFORM"
One-third of state public school
testing systems need a complete overhaul and another
third need major improvements if they are
support for high quality teaching and learning,
according to a new study by the National Center for
Fair & Open Testing (FairTest).
The FairTest study found a
"southern effect," with states in the south having
the most testing, making the lease use of
perfor-mance assessment, and using high school exit
Most states do not do a good job
of including students with special needs or those
with limited English proficiency in state
assessments by making appropriate accommodations or
Teacher training in assessment
remains weak in most states; and
Few states do a good job of
evaluating the impact of their testing programs on
classroom teaching and learning.