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It seems that the educational system is in a constant state of flux, We’ve seen the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, to the recent announcements of changes that will be made to that Act.
One thing that does seem to remain is the standardized test as a way to gauge both student and educational institution performances. In addition, how do we go about determining or interpreting the results of our students test scores?
It’s important to, first, realize that not every student will test at an above average level. And it is also important to be able to use those test scores to improve student performance.
Know which tests are being given at what times. For instances, some tests are standardized and given across the nation at the third, fifth and eight grades. Next, make sure you understand the norms of the test. An individual students performance is measured against the “normed” or baseline group. Your individual student’s scores can be interpreted differently depending on which norm the results are compared with.
Identify the reporting methods of the scores. These can be stanine, grade equivalents or percentile rankings.
Make sure you understand how the results will be used. Some school districts use the data as a measurement of academic policy or effectiveness. Scores of individual students should not be used to make decisions on remedial programs or other such programs.
Finally, understand that these test scores measure performance, not your student’s potential. The test basically determines how much a student knows on a particular date, but not about future learning potential.