Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why test? (Standardized Testing)

Next week (October 20-22) your child(ren) in grades 3-8 will be working through the Canadian Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) for a part of each day. The CTBS is a collection of standardized tests in several subject areas. The two main reasons for using a standardized achievement test are to gather information that can be used to improve instruction school-wide and to provide one more form of valuable information about their input alongside a report card to make responsible decisions about the education of their children. 

It is important to us that you know that these tests do not measure all the worthwhile objectives of our school – the diversity of school goals, of instructional methods, and of curriculum materials make it impossible for any test to attempt to do that. However, there are a number of generally held educational objectives toward which all students are expected to progress toward as they proceed through grades K-8. 

The test provides basic information about student achievement. The test scores are compared to the scores of other students. This comparison can be very useful to schools and parents in determining the quality of the school program and instruction, and the corresponding level of student achievement. 

This year, under the recommendation of the Education Committee, we decided to only participate in the CTBS portion that relates to math. Two years ago, we made a full Grade 1 -8 switch to JUMP Math. We are interested in seeing how this specific area of the curriculum is improving student learning at LCES. We recognize the age of the CTBS tests as a whole and while other subject areas don’t completely align with our curriculum, we see the merit in participating in the math testing for this year. 

Teachers will spend time with students explaining how the tests work, what to expect and why we are using them at LCES. When the test scores are returned to the school, we will notify you as parents. Please pray for our students as they take these tests. Pray for patience, clear thinking, peace and understanding as we look to ensure we are preparing our students well for their future. JW

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