There will be a variety of assessments that your children will be taking over the course of the next few months. One of the myths that exist in education is that test taking preparation helps students perform better when they take the real test. In reality, the areas that improve performance on assessments are lessons that have relevance to students lives, that are engaging and that require critical thinking as part of the learning process. Dr. Richard Allington has conducted a great deal of research on this topic and writes in his article, Every Child, Every Day, that, "Although sales of test preparation materials provide almost two-thirds of the profit that testing companies earn (Glovin & Evans, 2006), there are no studies demonstrating that engaging students in test prep ever improved their reading proficiency—or even their test performance (Guthrie, 2002)." As educators and learning communities, we must aware of the test preparation pitfall. Rather than spending time preparing for tests, our teachers will be engaging students in authentic and meaningful learning as we approach these assessments.
What Assessments Are on the Horizon?
STAMP Assessment: This assessment measures proficiency for listening, speaking, reading and writing. This adaptive test provides data around student progress and program development. This enables educators to improve language learning outcomes and make more informed instructional decisions. Students in 1st through 8th grades will be assessed using the STAMP. The data results will be used as a baseline for their language proficiency to benchmark progress, to inform instruction, and to report levels out to parents and continuing institutions.
NWEA MAP Assessment: By dynamically adjusting to each student’s responses, MAP Growth creates a personalized assessment experience that accurately measures performance. Timely, easy-to-use reports help teachers teach, students learn, and administrators lead. MAP Growth reveals how much growth has occurred between testing events and, shows projected proficiency. Educators can track growth through the school year and over multiple years.
CMAS: Colorado’s summative tests are called the Colorado Measures of Academic Success, which measure students’ mastery of the standards and the complex thinking and other critical skills students need to be successful in school and in life. Students in 3rd - 8th grade are tested in Math and English Language Arts. Some grade levels are tested in Science and Social Studies.
When it comes to test preparation at home, the best approach you can take as parents on testing days is to make sure your children get a good night of sleep and a healthy breakfast to feed their brain.
Allington, R. L. (2012). Every Child, Every Day. Educational Leadership, 69(6), 10-15.
Yours in Education,
Executive Director, Global Village Academy Collaborative