In this post we will discuss what a standardized test actually is. We will also cover what it means to you as a homeschool parent as well as what it does for schools. There is much debate over the standardized testing that is required in many states. We will address (briefly) what both sides have to say.
What is standardized testing? Basically it is when the same test is given at the same time to the same grade of students. With all of these things standardized it is one theory that you can glean what a whole body of students in one grade have learned or not learned.
As a homeschool student you need to find out from your state department of education if they have a requirement for your students to take part in standardized testing. You also may want to consider the fact that the schools may not want it but you may. You would then want to find out if your child could take part in the testing. Chances are that unless they require it you will not be able to. With the No Child Left Behind Act the school is at risk of losing money if they don’t pass with high enough scores. Where they probably don’t get to say what you teach, they probably won’t want you to test with the other kids.
There are many theories and arguments about standardized testing. Some parents believe that you cannot sum up a child’s intelligence because of one multiple choice test. The other concerns that parents have is that our educators have things that they are excited to teach and to get to in their curriculum. With standardized testing the teachers are only teaching for the test. That means that if the particulars of what they are really excited about are not tested on then the students miss out on some enlightening experiences.
Educators tend to be pro-standardized testing because they feel that it creates a bench mark whereby you can judge other students. To this, parents would say that no two children are the same and given what the weather is like, what the child had for breakfast, how much the sleep the got, and how much stress they feel will all effect their test scores.