Thursday, April 30, 2009

Standardized tests vs. real grades

This year, we decided to try something new with Will and the standardized tests. Previously, Will went to a separate room from the general population to take his standardized tests. Sure, this meant that he was able to take the test in relative peace and quiet. Trouble was, it also meant that he didn't finish the tests until well after the general population -- he would have to take sometimes two or three days beyond the normal time to finish.

So this year we asked that he take his tests with the general population, just to see if he could manage it. He not only managed it, but he finished the tests within the allotted time. I was amazed. Then, months later, I get the results, and he is decidedly down this year from last. I knew that reading comprehension will always be low, but things that he usually scores well in (math computation, english punctuation, etc.) he was down from last year. We will most probably go back to having him take the standardized tests in a separate room next year.

But, having said this -- even with relatively low scores on standardized tests, which I could care less about because they don't matter personally to him -- it is so weird that he can have straight A's for most of this year, and do so poorly on standardized tests. How can that be? Why do we even bother with these stupid tests? He's not alone in this either -- his straight A sister also sometimes, for no good reason, does relatively poorly on standardized tests. Only the oldest brother, who could have cared less about grades, did great on standardized tests.

There is no justice in this world . . . .!

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