Thursday, September 16, 2010

Of Standardized Tests

In my state, we are required to administer a standardized test each year a child is of compulsory age, 7 to 16. This is the first year we fall into that category. So this is the first year we have tested. I am not big on testing. It takes a tiny snapshot. It covers a tiny sliver of the actual knowledge there is out there in the world. So in teaching to a test, you are teaching that same tiny sliver. But it seems that in order to continue homeschooling, I must jump through that one hoop. So jump we did.

In selecting the "test' to take, I admit I did some research. I only considered 2 seriously, however: The Peabody Individual Achievement Test and the California Achievement Test (CAT). Either is acceptable in my state. Both were reasonably priced. Both have good reputations. The Peabody is administered by a qualified test administrator, the CAT is parent administered. The Peabody is oral, the CAT is written. They both have good things going for them.

Ultimately we chose the Peabody, which we completed this morning. Our test administrator is a home school mom herself, making it that much easier. She developed a quick rapport with Kiddo, and they were off. Kutey and I waited in the children's book area of the library we went to. We read some books, Kutey played with some toys, and before we knew it, Kiddo was done! The test administrator had the results for me right then and there, and we left the library about 85 minutes after we entered. Kiddo actually thoroughly enjoyed the assessment. He thought it was fun! Who knew! He was actually talking about the next time he gets to do it, when he is 8...

1 comment:

jugglingpaynes said...

I've never heard of the Peabody test. I wonder if it's used in my state?

I started with the CAT test for my youngest after years of giving the PASS test to my older two. My reasons were that there was a wider age range for the CAT. When I switched from the untimed format of the PASS test to the timed CAT for my oldest, she panicked. As a result, her test scores were skewed for that year. I'm hoping if my youngest grows with the CAT, she will have an easier time in the long run, since most tests are timed.

Peace and Laughter!