Category Archives: NYS ELA and Math Tests Grade 3-8 Resources

Understanding Your Child’s State Test Scores

Understanding your Child’s State Test Scores

By Mary E. Miele M.A.Ed, Special Education Teacher

What tests did your child take?

Each spring, students in grades 3-8 take part in the New York State Testing Program as required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The English Language Arts and Mathematics examinations given are based on the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) adopted by New York State in July 2010. However, it wasn’t until the 2012-2013 school year that the assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics were used to measure a student’s progress towards mastering the Common Core Learning Standards. Students take the ELA and math assessments annually through grade 8. Science and Social Studies assessments are administered in grades 4 and 8 but are not Common Core aligned.

What skills are tested?

The ELA Common Core examination tests your child’s ability to comprehend key ideas and details presented in grade level texts. Their reading comprehension score is based on their responses to multiple choice questions that measure the common core learning standards. The mathematics common core examination tests your child’s ability to solve equations using the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), base ten, fractions, the number system, ratios and proportions, measurement and data, functions and geometry; which are determined by their grade level.

Your Score Report Decoded

You can locate your child’s score on your NYC Schools Account: https://www.mystudent.nyc/. You need to have your child’s ID number (found on his or her report card) as well as an Account Creation Code (provided by your child’s school) to register.

For both the ELA and Math examinations, there are four major scores reported.

Scale Score: The scale score is determined by the number of points your child earns on the test. The higher the number of points your child earned, the higher his or her scale score. There may be no scale score listed if, (1) your child did not complete a sufficient number of questions on the test to generate a score, (2) if your child was medically excused, or (3) if there was an administrative error.

Quick Tip: You should NOT compare your child’s scale score this year to the scale score from previous exam years. The range of scale scores change by grade level and should not be compared as they may falsely indicate a better/worse performance than what actually occurred.

Performance Level 2016-2017: Students are assigned a performance level based on how they perform on the test this year. There are four possible performance levels:

NYS Level 1: Students performing at this level are well below proficient in meeting grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are insufficient to meet grade expectations and Common Core Learning Standards.

NYS Level 2: Students performing at this level are somewhat proficient in meeting grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are on track to meet current New York high school graduation requirements but are insufficient to meet Common Core Learning Standards.

NYS Level 3: Students performing at this level are proficient in meeting grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are sufficient to meet Common Core Learning Standards.

NYS Level 4: Students performing at this level are currently excelling in meeting the grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are more than sufficient to meet grade level and Common Core Learning Standards.

Overall State Percentile Rank: The percentile rank compares your child’s scale score to the scores of other NY state students who took the same test this year. The rank is reported on a scale of 1-99. The higher your child’s percentage rank, the better your child did compared to other students. For example, if your child’s percentage rank is 50%, it means that your child did better than 50% of all students in their grade who took the test.

Performance Level 2015-2016: The second performance level listed indicates your child’s performance in the previous year’s examination. The 2015-2016 performance level can be compared to the 2016-2017 performance level (this year’s level) to determine if your child has improved. If your child’s performance level is lower this year than last year, it can indicate that there may be some interventions that are needed to ensure that your child continues to progress. These interventions can include providing test preparation, tutoring, and/or test accommodations offered through a 504 plan or Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Quick Tip: Students taking the 3rd grade test will not have a previous year performance level as this is the first year of administration. Use this year’s performance level as a baseline to compare to in future years.

Next Steps

Understanding your child’s results is just the first part. While the results may or may not have been what you expected, your understanding of the results can help you support your child during the school year and help them prepare for their next assessment.

If your child’s performance was a Level 1 or Level 2:

  • Speak to your child’s teacher to get an understanding of what standards they struggle with the most. Ask for suggestions on how you can support learning at home.
  • If you went through tutoring support, review that support with your child’s tutor and create a list of what improvements could be made for next year’s process.
  • Advocate for your child to receive additional support as needed. Students whose performance level is either Level 1 or Level 2 are eligible for academic intervention services (AIS) from their schools.
  • Speak to your child about their testing experience. Ask about any fears, anxieties or difficulties they faced during testing. Your child’s feedback may help you determine what type of support they need during this time.
  • Find ways to help your child practice skills outside of school. For example, household activities like cooking, baking and shopping can help your child practice skills that will help them during testing. These activities can help students develop skills such as following multi-step directions and calculating measurements that are assessed during testing.
  • Encourage independent reading at home. All children can benefit from additional independent reading time, not just struggling students. However, some students are more hesitant to pick up a book and read without encouragement. Find a book series or genre that your child particularly enjoys and don’t worry about how “educational” it is. Even magazines, newspapers and comic books can be good material to encourage reading.
  • Consider having your child evaluated for special education services for additional support that they may need. Many students struggle silently with learning disabilities that are unsupported and are not allowing them to demonstrate all that they know and can do. Students who qualify for special education services are entitled to receive support throughout the school year and testing accommodations during assessments. Testing accommodations that may be considered include breaks during testing, administration in a distraction free location and questions read aloud. These supports can make all the difference for some students. In addition, even if they receive these supports, there are no future implications on their post-secondary school and career options.

If your child’s performance was a Level 3 or Level 4:

  • Continue to encourage your child’s progress and do not look at the results as a reason to lower expectations for their performance. Some children (and parents) develop a false confidence that can cause them to slack on school and homework. Learning is a continual process that should be guided by your child’s curiosity and your encouragement.
  • Challenge your child’s critical thinking skills. Regardless of what grade level tests they take, all assessments test your child’s ability to think critically and analyze information presented. Help your child develop critical thinking skills by asking open ended questions, encouraging them to make decisions independently, and having them make connections between what they learn and what they experience in life.
  • Help your child develop their group work skills, their social skills and reinforce academic skills by having them act as a peer tutor. School is a very important aspect to a child’s social life and development. Giving students the opportunity to interact with their peers in an academic setting is preferred by many. Many advanced students thrive in this leadership opportunity. In addition, some struggling students benefit from learning directly from their peers.
  • Speak to your child’s school about possible early promotion. Can they be switched to a higher level math class based on a strong performance? While you don’t want to push them if they are not ready, you also want to ensure that they are appropriately challenged for their ability levels. Nothing is worse than a student who loses motivation due to being “bored” and unchallenged in the classroom. Inquire about enrichment programs that may be a good fit for your child.

Note about how to discuss your child’s results: 

The way you handle your child’s test results is a very personal choice and decision. I’m simply making some suggestions here from my experience in working with families and students to help navigate your own process.

What should I share with my child? 

I advise being factual about test results with children. Tell them the scores matter of factly and work with them on a plan for what they will do to meet expectations this coming year. Provide suggestions on how to talk about their test scores with peers — or better yet advise them to keep testing information private. Even if scores are at expectation, it is important to review the preparation and make a list of what worked and what did not work.

What should our “talk” look like? 

Give factual information. If you are feeling elated, excited, upset, frustrated, disappointed, or angry — cope with your feelings first. Talk with your child when you are calm. Ask your child a series of precise questions about the results and the preparation process such as: What do you think of these results? Do you have any questions? How do you feel your preparation went this year? Did you have enough time for instruction, enough independent practice, enough mock assessments? Did you have a successful mindset, discipline and/or attitude about the testing? What skills and concepts are solid and what may need improvement?

Write out the answers and use them to create a “goal sheet” for this coming year.

In addition to interpreting results and talking with your child about the goals, give your child a way to talk about testing with friends and teachers. I think if all parents talked with their children about the fact that results are private information — we would be all better off. But, since the questions and conversations do tend to happen — you may want to suggest your child know what to say if friends start to ask. If a friend asks, “What did you get on the ELA?” The student may be able to just say, “I did great – how did you do?” and give them ways to handle the peers who may really want to know a number, “You know, I don’t really want to publicize my numbers — that’s really private info, you know!” is a great line to use, for instance. Preparedness will help students to feel better about their social interactions.

What if my child did not meet expectations? 

First of all, remember that these are test scores, and while they are one important aspect of your child’s academic experience, they are also a snapshot of that one experience. Any number of variables may contribute to a child’s success during test taking. At Evolved, we view children as whole people — academics, learning, school and home experiences as well as their social, emotional and physical development come into play at any time during their testing.

If you are feeling disappointed in the results, it may be best to talk with me or with your spouse or another parent before you speak to your child. You want your mindset to be one of constructive criticism instead of destructive criticism. The point is — be frustrated, be disappointed, and then get to work on supporting your child. And remember — this is your child’s journey. It may not go the way you have planned, but it will work out and we can partner together to support you and your child along the way!

What if I don’t want to talk with my child right now? 

I would say that if your child is in 3rd or 4th or maybe even 5th grade that is okay, but if their friends will be talking about it, it is best for you to talk with your child about the results first. You will want your child to be able to ask you questions and not their friends. Most children have been involved in the preparation for the ELA and NYS Math Tests, so they are aware that results will come out. While they may not be aware of this happening this week, once they get back to school, they may have conversations with their friends about the tests.

Other questions? Contact me — I am happy to help!

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact me at mary@evolveded.com or at 917 388 3862.

 

ELA and NYS Math Test Preparation

New York State Testing Preparation at The Evolved Education Company

The Evolved Education Company is offering small group classes, mock testing and private lessons to support students in preparation for the NYS Tests this Spring. Here is what you need to know about the tests and our offerings.
Dates for Tests
 
  • ELA: Tuesday, March 28 – Thursday, March 30
  • NYS Math: Tuesday, May 2 – Thursday, May 4
What to Know about This Year’s Tests
  • This year’s tests are shorter in length
  • There is no time limit on the test
  • The tests contains complex questions (for both ELA and NYS Math)
  • The questions test understanding of concepts, not just mastery of skills.
  • Math contains multi-step problems

What to know about the ELA Test

Questions are text based and students should find answers in the text. There are a good amount of “prove it” questions — requiring students to go back to the text to find the answers and to back up their answers with text evidence.

Passages will be authentic and will be balanced between information and literacy text. For grades 3-5, the texts will balance  information and literacy topics. For grades 6-8, the texts will also include subject-based texts. Students should be familiar with academic vocabulary.

The ELA Test will include passages to read and multiple choice questions, short response questions and extended response questions.

Students should be able to do the following:

  • Find Main Idea by pulling quotes, summarizing them, answering a questions such as “a title similar to this passage would be…”
  • Make Inferences
  • Understand Structure and Craft
  • Be able to read and understand texts above grade level
What to know about the NYS Math Test
The math test focuses on priority standards. Students are required to write out their answers, demonstrate deep understanding of concepts, fluency and application skills.
The test contains multi-step words problems, short answer and extended response questions where the answer must be described using words.
Students must practice reading directions and following them. Some are complex.
For older students who are dealing with finding percent off and tip, they will need to master the concept and skill to solve these multi-step problems.
Often problems relate to real life –such as using a menu, money, sales tax, tip, or riddles.
Test Preparation Class Information

GREAT PREPARATION BEGINS WITH GREAT TEACHING
Introduction

Performance on state tests have an impact on student choice when it comes to middle and high school admissions, particularly for 4th and 7th graders. At EEC, we will defuse the anxiety and stress built up around the process. We instill confidence in our students as we help them to deconstruct the tests, how to approach each question and manage their time on the test day. We make our courses fun and engaging!

EEC Test-Preparation Program: ELA and MATH for 3rd through 8th Graders 

Differentiation: The first part of the program involves getting to know our students. We use the Evolved Education Paradigm and a placement test for ELA and MATH  to determine how each student can thrive in our program. We learn and evaluate a student’s academic history, learning styles, school environment, family environment and social-emotional-physical quotient prior to creating the student’s individualized and custom-tailored program.


Based on the information we gather, we create a test-preparation program that combines content and strategy.  Where applicable: some of the lessons will be whole-class, but most will be created for individuals or small groups of students with similar needs and will include study tactics and approaches and test-taking techniques to alleviate test-taking anxiety and ensure optimal performance on these standardized tests.

Curriculum: We teach both content and strategy and have found it is often best to weave the two together. For example, if we are building vocabulary, we will simultaneously teach students how to look for common root words. For the ELA and NYS Math courses we are ensuring mastery in the priority items for each test and giving plenty of guided and independent practice. In addition, because of our education background and pedagogical strengths, we are able to create lessons that include hands-on activities, games to improve mastery and motivation, and traditional, stamina-building test preparation exercises.

Materials: According to the Department of Education, the exams have been redesigned to cover a broader range of performance indicators including common core standards.  Our preparation materials will reflect the new test formats and common core standards. We use a combination of typical test preparation materials. However, our master test-prep tutors will heavily supplement lessons according to student’s’ individual needs.

Class Structure: Group classes vary according to needs; one-to-one classes are structured according to the specific needs of the student and his or her family.

Teachers: Each test preparation class is taught by certified and trained EEC teachers, and is supervised and overseen by EEC Test Preparation Lead, Christina Amendola. Christina will visit in-class lessons, and she will oversee the curriculum development. She will be collecting and maintaining data analysis on each student’s progress, and working to identify and address specific learning differences so as to determine how lessons will be differentiated and scaffolded, unlocking the potential for each student in the program. What this means for our students is that they will each have careful attention and meaningful instruction in preparation for the State Tests. 

The Evolved Education’s Mock Testing Program

One of the most challenging aspects of taking a standardized test is the newness factor. Even for a seemingly simple task like using one’s pencil to fill in a bubble sheet can be thrown off by testing in a room full of strangers in a strange place or sitting for the unusually long period of time required by most standardized tests.

EEC’s mock testing program involves creating an environment that mirrors the actual test day. The information gathered from each student’s practice test is used to inform future lessons so as to ensure improvement. Each test is graded, data is collected, and feedback including specific follow-up work is provided prior to the next lesson. Additionally, we are able to provide accommodations for students with IEPs or 504s.

Each mock test is given a number grade and detailed feedback. Individual recommendations regarding the number of recommended practice tests an individual student takes will be made as the course progresses. 

There is an additional fee for mock testing and they can register by clicking here.
Here are the dates:
1/22
1/29
2/5
2/12
2/26
3/5
3/12
3/19
3/26
4/2
4/9
4/23
4/30

The Evolved Education’s Partnership with Parents and Caregivers

Inherent to EEC’s whole-child philosophy is our belief that families play a crucial role in the educational endeavors of their children at all points of the educational process. Knowledge is power; and, we empower families with our knowledge not only of what their children are learning, but how they are learning. We provide families with the tools they need to support their children at home in order to make any test preparation process successful.

Teachers will provide families with weekly reports for each student.

The EEC Paradigm and Track Record

Our company’s support for each member of our community, whether their program be one-to-one, small-group, large-group, online or in-person, is individualized. Each child, family and school is unique and our Evolved Education Paradigm allows us to recognize and honor each student’s distinctive strengths and challenges.

EEC provides top quality customized test preparation courses. Families that contract with EEC do so through an understanding and recognition of the importance of a test preparation program that works within a paradigm that is developmentally appropriate for prepubescent and pubescent children because doing so ensures each student will reach his or her academic potential. Of the students we have worked with 99% of them have scored within the top 75% of students who take standardized tests and over 95% of them have scored within the top 99% of the students who take standardized tests. We have a track record of excellent results and look forward to helping your children reach their highest potential!

 

Understanding your Child’s State Test Scores

Title: Understanding your Child’s State Test Scores

By Nicole Lucien M.S.Ed, Special Education Teacher

What tests did your child take?

Each spring, students in grades 3-8 take part in the New York State Testing Program as required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The English Language Arts and Mathematics examinations given are based on the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) adopted by New York State in July 2010. However, it wasn’t until the 2012-2013 school year that the assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics were used to measure a student’s progress towards mastering the Common Core Learning Standards. Students take the ELA and math assessments annually through grade 8. Science and Social Studies assessments are administered in grades 4 and 8 but are not Common Core aligned.

Quick Tip: The results from the ELA and Math Common Core Tests are not included in your child’s official transcript or permanent student record at this time. However, that can change in the future.

What skills are tested?

The ELA Common Core examination tests your child’s ability to comprehend key ideas and details presented in grade level texts. Their reading comprehension score is based on their responses to multiple choice questions that measure the common core learning standards. The mathematics common core examination tests your child’s ability to solve equations using the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), base ten, fractions, the number system, ratios and proportions, measurement and data, functions and geometry; which are determined by their grade level.

What was different this year?

More Teacher Input: Based on the feedback given to the New York State Education Department (NYSED), there were a few changes made to the examinations administered this year. The NYSED has significantly increased the number of educators who are involved in creating and reviewing the assessments. This will help ensure that assessments are rigorous but fair for all students.

Shorter Test Length: One consistent recommendation made to NYSED was to reduce the length of the test. Based on this feedback, the assessments administered this year had a reduced number of test questions on both the ELA and Math tests. Specifically, the ELA test had one less passage and fewer comprehension questions to allow students more time to read the passages more closely. For the math test, students also had fewer questions to answer.

No Time Limits: The biggest change implemented this year is a shift to untimed testing for all students. Feedback from educators indicated that students found it difficult to work at their own pace under the timed conditions. With the shift to untimed testing, students were given more of an opportunity to demonstrate what they know and what they can do. Guidelines indicate that as long as students were working productively, they were allowed as much time as they need to complete the test.

Quick Tip: Assessments are continually updated based on student performance and feedback. The shorter test length and unlimited time are not guaranteed for this upcoming school year. Speak to your child’s school before the upcoming state tests this spring to see if there are any changes to these guidelines.

Your Score Report Decoded

You can locate your child’s score on your NYC Schools Account: https://www.mystudent.nyc/. You need to have your child’s ID number (found on his or her report card) as well as an Account Creation Code (provided by your child’s school) to register.

For both the ELA and Math examinations, there are four major scores reported.

Scale Score: The scale score is determined by the number of points your child earns on the test. The higher the number of points your child earned, the higher his or her scale score. There may be no scale score listed if, (1) your child did not complete a sufficient number of questions on the test to generate a score, (2) if your child was medically excused, or (3) if there was an administrative error.

Quick Tip: You should NOT compare your child’s scale score this year to the scale score from previous exam years. The range of scale scores change by grade level and should not be compared as they may falsely indicate a better/worse performance than what actually occurred.

Performance Level 2015-2016: Students are assigned a performance level based on how they perform on the test this year. There are four possible performance levels:

NYS Level 1: Students performing at this level are well below proficient in meeting grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are insufficient to meet grade expectations and Common Core Learning Standards.

NYS Level 2: Students performing at this level are somewhat proficient in meeting grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are on track to meet current New York high school graduation requirements but are insufficient to meet Common Core Learning Standards.

NYS Level 3: Students performing at this level are proficient in meeting grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are sufficient to meet Common Core Learning Standards.

NYS Level 4: Students performing at this level are currently excelling in meeting the grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are more than sufficient to meet grade level and Common Core Learning Standards.

Quick Tip: The New York City Department of Education has indicated that state test results will not have promotion consequences for students until at least the 2019-2020 school year. Results of the state test are only one measure of your child’s performance and should be considered in conjunction with student work on classroom assignments, projects, essays, and other assessments. However, private, parochial or catholic schools may have their own promotion criterion that incorporates Common Core test results. Speak to your child’s school in the beginning of the school year about the promotion criteria for their grade level and what assessments and metrics are used as part of promotion consideration. Then follow up with teachers throughout the school year to see how your child is progressing towards the promotion criteria. This can help you spot any difficulties they may be having so that additional help and remediation can be arranged with their teacher as early as possible.

Overall State Percentile Rank: The percentile rank compares your child’s scale score to the scores of other NY state students who took the same test this year. The rank is reported on a scale of 1-99. The higher your child’s percentage rank, the better your child did compared to other students. For example, if your child’s percentage rank is 50%, it means that your child did better than 50% of all students in their grade who took the test.

Quick Tip: Keep in mind that if your child was held back, their percentage rank is compared to students in their grade level, not their age. Keep this in mind when considering the percentile rank.

Performance Level 2014-2015: The second performance level listed indicates your child’s performance in the previous year’s examination. The 2014-2015 performance level can be compared to the 2015-2016 performance level (this year’s level) to determine if your child has improved. If your child’s performance level is lower this year than last year, it can indicate that there may be some interventions that are needed to ensure that your child continues to progress. These interventions can include providing test preparation, tutoring, and/or test accommodations offered through a 504 plan or Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Quick Tip: Students taking the 3rd grade test will not have a previous year performance level as this is the first year of administration. Use this year’s performance level as a baseline to compare to in future years.

Next Steps

Understanding your child’s results is just the first part. While the results may or may not have been what you expected, your understanding of the results can help you support your child during the school year and help them prepare for their next assessment.

If your child’s performance was a Level 1 or Level 2:

  • Speak to your child’s teacher to get an understanding of what standards they struggle with the most. Ask for suggestions on how you can support learning at home.
  • Advocate for your child to receive additional support as needed. Students whose performance level is either Level 1 or Level 2 are eligible for academic intervention services (AIS) from their schools.
  • Speak to your child about their testing experience. Ask about any fears, anxieties or difficulties they faced during testing. Your child’s feedback may help you determine what type of support they need during this time.
  • Find ways to help your child practice skills outside of school. For example, household activities like cooking, baking and shopping can help your child practice skills that will help them during testing. These activities can help students develop skills such as following multi-step directions and calculating measurements that are assessed during testing.
  • Encourage independent reading at home. All children can benefit from additional independent reading time, not just struggling students. However, some students are more hesitant to pick up a book and read without encouragement. Find a book series or genre that your child particularly enjoys and don’t worry about how “educational” it is. Even magazines, newspapers and comic books can be good material to encourage reading.
  • Consider having your child evaluated for special education services for additional support that they may need. Many students struggle silently with learning disabilities that are unsupported and are not allowing them to demonstrate all that they know and can do. Students who qualify for special education services are entitled to receive support throughout the school year and testing accommodations during assessments. Testing accommodations that may be considered include breaks during testing, administration in a distraction free location and questions read aloud. These supports can make all the difference for some students. In addition, even if they receive these supports, there are no future implications on their post-secondary school and career options.

If your child’s performance was a Level 3 or Level 4:

  • Continue to encourage your child’s progress and do not look at the results as a reason to lower expectations for their performance. Some children (and parents) develop a false confidence that can cause them to slack on school and homework. Learning is a continual process that should be guided by your child’s curiosity and your encouragement.
  • Challenge your child’s critical thinking skills. Regardless of what grade level tests they take, all assessments test your child’s ability to think critically and analyze information presented. Help your child develop critical thinking skills by asking open ended questions, encouraging them to make decisions independently, and having them make connections between what they learn and what they experience in life.
  • Help your child develop their group work skills, their social skills and reinforce academic skills by having them act as a peer tutor. School is a very important aspect to a child’s social life and development. Giving students the opportunity to interact with their peers in an academic setting is preferred by many. Many advanced students thrive in this leadership opportunity. In addition, some struggling students benefit from learning directly from their peers.
  • Speak to your child’s school about possible early promotion. Can they be switched to a higher level math class based on a strong performance? Should they be considered to skip a grade? While you don’t want to push them if they are not ready, you also want to ensure that they are appropriately challenged for their ability levels. Nothing is worse than a student who loses motivation due to being “bored” and unchallenged in the classroom. Inquire about enrichment programs that may be a good fit for your child.

 

Key Pieces of Advice from Parents who have been There

Parenting Standardized Tests: A Series for Parents of School-aged Children

Key Pieces of Advice from Parents who have been There

by Mary E. Miele and Gina Rotundo, from the The Evolved Education Company

 

Here are a collection of tips, strategies, and best practices from parents who have gone through the process at least once.

  • Rule # 1 – Do not let them see you sweat. Your child will feel your anxiety and internalize it and this will not help you or your child.
  • Learn all you can about the tests. Learn what the formats are, the time spent on each section and how the test is graded.
  • Discuss your child’s abilities and challenges at the first parent-teacher conference and translate these into test-taking skills.
  • Express to your child she needs to do her best and not compare herself to her peers. You can opt to not tell her what scores she earned. Just let her know she did well.
  • Do not pressure your child; she will pressure herself and will feel the pressure from her peers and teachers.
  • Remember, state tests are only one of the many ways to measure what your child is learning and able to do.
  • Look for signs of test anxiety. Ask your teacher how your child does on in-class tests. Does she finish on time? Does she know how to pace herself? Does she make careless errors?
  • Give your child a practice test at home to see how she handles the different formats so you can work on strengthening her weaknesses.
  • Make sure your child reads a variety of genres and reads for at least 30 minutes every night as even the math test involves a lot of reading. Doing this will expose your child to a variety of texts and vocabulary; but, most importantly, this will help build stamina.
  • Create a quiet study space for your child and make sure she can sit and stay on task the full time of your child’s test. Do not expect this to happen immediately; you will have to work up to the full time. For children who have a 504 granting extended time, find out how long your child will sit for.
  • Do fun activities throughout the year that are timed so your child will learn a sense of pacing and time management.
  • Use your child’s 3rd grade experience to learn how she handles test taking and whether she will need a 504 Plan, tutoring, or both.
  • Talk about the tests with your child: why they have to take tests and what they are used for. Normalizing test taking will help alleviate stress.
  • Remind your child that the test measures certain things, but does not measure intelligence.
  • Remind your child that one test is just that, one test. Some tests will go very well and others will not. Take it one test at a time and maintain a healthy perspective.

 

Key Elements of Test Preparation: A Primer for Students

Parenting Standardized Tests: A Series for Parents of School-aged Children

Key Elements of Test Preparation: A Primer for Students

by Mary E. Miele and Gina Rotundo, from the The Evolved Education Company

Build Test-Taking Skills

Maintain a list of concepts and skills you should know. Sort these skills into categories of what you know well, what you want to review and what you really need to learn.

Try to maintain a fifteen-minute daily review. Steadily build from the skills you already know and do not try to learn everything at once. Review old concepts while you learn new skills, so you are accumulating knowledge while refreshing basics. Look at resources such as education.com or The Evolved Education Company to curate extra practice.

Maintain a daily reading of fiction and non-fiction for at least 40 minutes per day. Practice reading to yourself and aloud to an adult. Practice re-telling the story and expressing your thoughts and opinions about what is happening.

Do Test Preparation at Home

Remember: Taking a standardized test differs from taking regular school tests. Standardized tests are strictly timed and have specific instructions to follow.

Designating a particular amount of time for an activity or review lesson to be completed can help you get in the mindset of finishing work with time restraints. The use of your own timer or stopwatch can help you be conscious of time, while also providing a fun way to do quick practices of certain skills. A time timer, shown below can be purchased from Amazon.com for $22.00 and is an excellent way to teach students to be aware of time. Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 9.42.27 PM

Take as many practice tests as possible using tests from previous years. Ask an adult to create a quiet space for you to take a full 70-minute test.

Test-Taking Tips

Before the test, expose yourself to answering a variety of question types for both ELA and Math: fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, short-answer and extended response.

Become familiar with test terminology. For example, you should know the difference between things like synonyms and antonyms, main ideas and details, and greater than and less than.

Make a list of clue words and their corresponding operations. Within the questions, clues can be found, such as in the question: How many blocks are there altogether? You should understand that the word “altogether” indicates addition as the operation needed to answer the question sufficiently.

Pay close attention to directions, and note, highlight or underline any words that may assist you in answering the questions.

In the reading comprehension section of the test, which can be very lengthy, you should start by previewing the questions prior to reading the assigned passage. This helps you know what you are looking for when you read the text.

In multiple-choice questions, you should first rule out the wrong answers then look for the correct answer.

Also, make sure you answer all of the questions. You loose more credit for unanswered questions than for wrong answers.

Pay attention to time and time management. Then, throughout the year and just for fun, consider doing timed activities at home with your family.

On the Week of the Test

This is the time to officially end test-preparation and take time to relax.

On the night before: take a nice warm bath, or shower and make time for your favorite relaxing activities. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep as a good rest can increase your score.

On test day: have a good breakfast because nutrients help to stimulate the brain. Don’t forget last minute supplies, such as No. 2 pencils, ruler, protractor, calculator if needed and a watch.

Important Facts to Remember

It is normal to feel anxiety before a test. Learn how to use breathing exercise to relax.

This is only a test and does not measure your intelligence, nor determine your future.

Just do your best!

Key Components of ELA and New York State Math Tests

Parenting Standardized Tests: A Series for Parents of School-aged Children

Key Components of ELA and New York State Math Tests

by Mary E. Miele, learning specialist and founder of The Evolved Education Company

The following is 2015 information on the ELA and NY State Math Tests. I’ve included the test dates for the Science Test as well.

ELA Dates: Tuesday, April 5-Thursday, April 7
Make Up: Friday April 8-Tuesday, April 12

NYS Math Test Dates: Wednesday, April 13-Friday, April 15
Make Up: Monday April 18-Wednesday April 20

Grade 4 and 8 Science Performance Test Dates: Wednesday May 25-Friday, June 3

Grade 4 and 8 Science Written Test Date: Monday, June 6

Grade Three ELA Test

Day One tests only reading. This part of the test will entail 30 multiple-choice questions on 5 literary and informational reading passages, which will be about 500-600 words long. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 65% of it will cover key ideas and details. 35% of it will cover craft and structure. 30% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 70 minutes.

Day Two is split equally between testing writing and testing reading. This part of the test will entail 7 multiple-choice questions based on one passage and 1 extended response and 3 short-responses based on two passages. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 65% of it will cover key ideas and details. 35% of it will cover craft and structure. 30% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 70 minutes.

Day Three tests writing. This part of the test will entail 1 extended response and 5 short response questions on three reading passages. These passages will require test the Language and Writing Standards and just about half of the points will be determined from writing and command of language. Students will sit for 70 minutes.

Grade Three NYS Math Test

Grade 3 Common Core focus is on four critical areas 1) Developing understanding of multiplication and division within 100; 2) Developing understanding of fractions (with a numerator of 1); 3) developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area; 4) Describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes.

Day One has 24 multiple-choice questions. Day Two has 24 multiple-choice questions and Day Three has five short-response questions and three extended-response questions. Students sit for 60 minutes each day. Most questions target more than one standard on content presented in past grades as well as third grade. A short-response question will often require multiple-steps and cover conceptual and application standards. An extended-response question may be similar to the short-response question, but may also assess student reasoning and the ability to critique the arguments of others. Questions in the math section are graded on a point system. The highest number of points one can receive is either 2 or 3 points. These “best” responses indicates the students has completed the task correctly, using mathematically sound procedures; contains sufficient work to demonstrate a through understanding of the math concepts and procedures; and may contain inconsequential errors that do not detract from the correct solution and the demonstration of a through understanding. Students must bring a ruler to the test.

Grade Four ELA Test

Day One tests only reading. This part of the test will entail 30 multiple choice questions on 5 literary and informational reading passages, which will be about 600-700 words long. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 65% of it will cover key ideas and details. 35% of it will cover craft and structure. 30% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 70 minutes.

Day Two is split equally between testing writing and testing reading. This part of the test will entail 7 multiple choice questions based on one passage and 1 extended response and 3 short-responses based on two passages. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 65% of it will cover key ideas and details. 35% of it will cover craft and structure. 30% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 70 minutes.

Day Three tests writing. This part of the test will entail 1 extended response and 5 short response questions on three reading passages. These passages will require test the Language and Writing Standards and just about half of the points will be determined from writing and command of language. Students will sit for 70 minutes.

Grade Four NYS Math Test

Grade 4 Common Core focus is on three critical areas 1) Developing understanding of multi-digit multiplication and division of quotients involving multi-digit dividends; 2) Developing understanding of fraction equivalence, addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplication of fractions by whole numbers; 3) understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry.

Day One has 24 multiple-choice questions. Day Two has 25 multiple-choice questions and Day Three has six short-response questions and four extended-response questions. Students sit for 60 minutes for Day One and Day Two and then 90 minutes on Day Three. Most questions target more than one standard on content presented in past grades as well as third grade. A short-response question will often require multiple-steps and cover conceptual and application standards. An extended-response question may be similar to the short-response question, but may also assess student reasoning and the ability to critique the arguments of others. Questions in the math section are graded on a point system. The highest number of points one can receive is either 2 or 3 points. These “best” responses indicates the students has completed the task correctly, using mathematically sound procedures; contains sufficient work to demonstrate a through understanding of the math concepts and procedures; and may contain inconsequential errors that do not detract from the correct solution and the demonstration of a through understanding. Students must bring a ruler and a protractor to the test.

Grade Five ELA Test

Day One tests only reading. This part of the test will entail 42 multiple-choice questions on six literary and informational reading passages, which will be about 700-800 words long. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 65% of it will cover key ideas and details. 35% of it will cover craft and structure. 30% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Day Two is split equally between testing writing and testing reading. This part of the test will entail 7 multiple-choice questions based on one passage and 1 extended response and 3 short-responses based on two passages. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 65% of it will cover key ideas and details. 35% of it will cover craft and structure. 30% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Day Three tests writing. This part of the test will entail 1 extended response and 5 short response questions on three reading passages. These passages will require test the Language and Writing Standards and just about half of the points will be determined from writing and command of language. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Grade Five New York State Math Test

Grade 5 Common Core focus is on four critical areas (1) developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing understanding of multiplication of fractions and of division of fractions in limited cases (unit fractions divided by whole numbers and whole numbers divided by unit fractions); (2) extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place value system and developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations; and (3) developing understanding of volume.

Day One has 24 multiple-choice questions. Day Two has 25 multiple-choice questions and Day Three has six short-response questions and four extended-response questions. Students sit for 80 minutes for Day One and Day Two and then 90 minutes on Day Three. Most questions target more than one standard on content presented in past grades as well as third grade. A short-response question will often require multiple-steps and cover conceptual and application standards. An extended-response question may be similar to the short-response question, but may also assess student reasoning and the ability to critique the arguments of others. Questions in the math section are graded on a point system. The highest number of points one can receive is either 2 or 3 points. These “best” responses indicates the students has completed the task correctly, using mathematically sound procedures; contains sufficient work to demonstrate a through understanding of the math concepts and procedures; and may contain inconsequential errors that do not detract from the correct solution and the demonstration of a through understanding. Students must bring a ruler and a protractor to the test.

Grade Six ELA Test

Day One tests only reading. This part of the test will entail 42 multiple choice questions on six literary and informational reading passages, which will be about 500-600 words long. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 60% of it will cover key ideas and details. 40% of it will cover craft and structure. 40% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Day Two is split equally between testing writing and testing reading. This part of the test will entail 7 multiple-choice questions based on one passage and 1 extended response and 3 short-responses based on two passages. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 65% of it will cover key ideas and details. 35% of it will cover craft and structure. 30% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Day Three tests writing. This part of the test will entail 1 extended response and 5 short response questions on three reading passages. These passages will require test the Language and Writing Standards and just about half of the points will be determined from writing and command of language. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Grade Six NYS Math Test

Grade 6 Common Core focus is on four critical areas (1) connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; (2) completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; (3) writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; and (4) developing understanding of statistical thinking.

Day One has 28 multiple-choice questions. Day Two has 27 multiple-choice questions and Day Three has six short-response questions and four extended-response questions. Students sit for 80 minutes for Day One and Day Two and then 90 minutes on Day Three. Most questions target more than one standard on content presented in past grades as well as third grade. A short-response question will often require multiple-steps and cover conceptual and application standards. An extended-response question may be similar to the short-response question, but may also assess student reasoning and the ability to critique the arguments of others. Questions in the math section are graded on a point system. The highest number of points one can receive is either 2 or 3 points. These “best” responses indicates the students has completed the task correctly, using mathematically sound procedures; contains sufficient work to demonstrate a through understanding of the math concepts and procedures; and may contain inconsequential errors that do not detract from the correct solution and the demonstration of a through understanding. Students must bring a ruler and a protractor to the test. On Day 2 and 3, students must bring a 4-function calculator with a square root key or a scientific calculator. Graphing calculators are not permitted.

Grade Seven ELA Test

Day One tests only reading. This part of the test will entail 42 multiple-choice questions on six literary and informational reading passages, which will be about 800-900 words long. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 60% of it will cover key ideas and details. 40% of it will cover craft and structure. 40% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Day Two is split equally between testing writing and testing reading. This part of the test will entail 7 multiple-choice questions based on one passage and 1 extended response and 3 short-responses based on two passages. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 65% of it will cover key ideas and details. 35% of it will cover craft and structure. 30% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Day Three tests writing. This part of the test will entail 1 extended response and 5 short response questions on three reading passages. These passages will require test the Language and Writing Standards and just about half of the points will be determined from writing and command of language. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Grade Seven NYS Math Test

Grade 7 Common Core focus is on four critical areas (1) developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships; (2) developing understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations; (3) solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume; and (4) drawing inferences about populations based on samples.

Day One has 28 multiple-choice questions. Day Two has 27 multiple-choice questions and Day Three has six short-response questions and four extended-response questions. Students sit for 80 minutes for Day One and Day Two and then 90 minutes on Day Three. Most questions target more than one standard on content presented in past grades as well as third grade. A short-response question will often require multiple-steps and cover conceptual and application standards. An extended-response question may be similar to the short-response question, but may also assess student reasoning and the ability to critique the arguments of others. Questions in the math section are graded on a point system. The highest number of points one can receive is either 2 or 3 points. These “best” responses indicates the students has completed the task correctly, using mathematically sound procedures; contains sufficient work to demonstrate a through understanding of the math concepts and procedures; and may contain inconsequential errors that do not detract from the correct solution and the demonstration of a through understanding. Students must bring a ruler and a protractor to the test. On Day 2 and 3, students must bring a scientific calculator. Graphing calculators are not permitted. Students need to learn about π and be familiar with a reference sheet.

Grade Eight ELA Test

Day One tests only reading. This part of the test will entail 42 multiple-choice questions on six literary and informational reading passages, which will be about 900-1000 words long. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 60% of it will cover key ideas and details. 40% of it will cover craft and structure. 40% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Day Two is split equally between testing writing and testing reading. This part of the test will entail 7 multiple-choice questions based on one passage and 1 extended response and 3 short-responses based on two passages. This part of the test will assess reading standards (RL and RI). 65% of it will cover key ideas and details. 35% of it will cover craft and structure. 30% of it will cover integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Day Three tests writing. This part of the test will entail 1 extended response and 5 short response questions on three reading passages. These passages will require test the Language and Writing Standards and just about half of the points will be determined from writing and command of language. Students will sit for 90 minutes.

Grade 8 NYS Math Test

Grade 8 Common Core focus is on four critical areas (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; and (3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.

Day One has 28 multiple-choice questions. Day Two has 27 multiple-choice questions and Day Three has six short-response questions and four extended-response questions. Students sit for 80 minutes for Day One and Day Two and then 90 minutes on Day Three. Most questions target more than one standard on content presented in past grades as well as third grade. A short-response question will often require multiple-steps and cover conceptual and application standards. An extended-response question may be similar to the short-response question, but may also assess student reasoning and the ability to critique the arguments of others. Questions in the math section are graded on a point system. The highest number of points one can receive is either 2 or 3 points. These “best” responses indicates the students has completed the task correctly, using mathematically sound procedures; contains sufficient work to demonstrate a through understanding of the math concepts and procedures; and may contain inconsequential errors that do not detract from the correct solution and the demonstration of a through understanding. Students must bring a ruler and a protractor to the test. On Day 2 and 3, students must bring a scientific calculator. Graphing calculators are not permitted. Students need to learn about π and be familiar with a reference sheet.

For further reading on ELA and NYS Math Testing Components please visit the following sites.

https://www.engageny.org/resource/released-2015-3-8-ela-and-mathematics-state-test-questions

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/ei/scorereports/ccmath-15/understanding-math15w.pdf

 

The Opt Out Movement

Parenting Standardized Tests: A Series for Parents of School-aged Children

The Opt Out Movement

by Mary E. Miele, learning specialist and founder of The Evolved Education Company

 

What is the Opt Out Movement?

Opt Out is a relatively new movement set against the surmounting presence of standardized testing in schools. Since 2013, this movement has claimed the latest policies such as Common Core and APPR teacher evaluations in New York State will lead to an explosion of high-stakes standardized tests. Members of this movement possess a strong conviction to challenge the “testing culture” and say our children’s education needs a diverse curriculum, creativity and critical thinking.

 What is the timeline of the Opt Out Movement?

The best way to show the progression of this movement is through an image published in the New York Times demonstrating the increased numbers of students choosing to Opt Out of testing. Click on the image to view the full article.

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 12.11.10 AM

Who is unhappy with standardized testing and why?

Teachers, parents and students are unhappy with standardized testing. Teachers have more unified complaints, while parents and students have more individualized grievances with standardized testing.

Teachers are charged with the task of preparing students for standardized tests.  The standardized tests are supposed to test for a student’s mastery of key concepts and skills for their grade level, yet the tests are given in the Spring with about two months of school left to finish. Thus, the testing companies give teachers lists of the content the tests will cover and teachers do their best to map out the year accordingly. In the past three years, teachers report that they have opened the tests along with their students to find question after question of material not covered in their class due to inaccurate guidelines for instruction. The lack of accurate instructional information frustrates teachers who are trying hard to fully prepare students for these high stakes standardized tests.

Teachers also question the level and complexity of the content presented in recent examinations. One teacher who has fourth grade students performed a grade level analysis of a reading they had and it was on the seventh grade level. Another teacher found the reading to be too advanced for her students and she believed the questions were convoluted.

Teachers are also upset at how recent changes in policies have so heavily weighted their evaluations on how students perform on standardized tests. This is further aggravated by the fact that teachers do not receive the results for the recent standardized tests until their students are off to the next grade level.  This timeline makes it impossible to make improvements based on feedback.

Parents have also voiced concern regarding the emphasis on standardized testing. Some parents feel the tests are too challenging and too experimental.  Many parents are against the notion of standardized testing, claiming the tests detract from creativity and well-rounded opportunities in education.

In 2015, the Teacher’s Unions urged parents to opt out of testing and many parents obliged to do so.

Student opinions of test taking is certainly not favorable, although this view point is not surprising. Preparing for and taking a standardized test is not something most children wish to do. The process is tedious and requires great stamina and discipline.

The recent tests do challenge and confuse very young students to a degree that is alarming. Likely the frustration seen within the opt out movement arises from this experience. Perhaps the new federal law Every Student Succeeds Act along with a different testing company, Questar, Inc, will command positive change for teachers, parents and students in New York State.

Why not opt out?

Standardized testing is often the only objective measure for a student’s academic aptitude. Even though there are grand and important imperfections with today’s testing programs, students do need to learn how to prepare for and take a standardized test. Teachers and parents need to gain objective feedback regarding the capabilities for their students and children. Schools need objective measures to evaluate the effectiveness of programming.

For NYC students who opt out do so at risk. Standardized testing results in grades four and seven are used, along with other measures of assessment, in the admissions process for middle school or high school. To find out more about this process I interviewed Maurice Frumkin of NYC School Admissions.

1) How do schools assess students for admission purposes without standardized test results?

There are potentially a variety of “selection criteria,” often including test scores for the more selective schools.  But they may also include interviews, grades, teacher’s comments (mostly for MS admissions), teacher recs, writing, etc. depending on the school’s admissions method.  Some admissions methods (limited unscreened) don’t look at academic record at all.

2) What are the cautions for parents of grade 3-8 students who wish to opt their children out of ELA and Math tests?

While school counselors can always mark extenuating circumstances on the student’s application for missing scores (technically that’s supposed to be taken into account by the school), the risk is that the receiving school does not have as much “objective” info on the candidate and it puts him/her at a disadvantage.

For further reading on the topic of the opt out movement:

http://all4ed.org/articles/an-emerging-federal-role-for-competency-education-new-knowledgeworks-policy-brief-identifies-federal-accountability-and-assessment-systems-as-challenges-to-competency-based-education-systems/

https://www.ny.gov/programs/smart-schools-ny

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/editorial-opting-tests-protects-teachers-not-kids-article-1.2183981

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2014/01/the-defiant-parents-testings-discontents.html?mobify=0

 

 

 

A History of Standardized Test Taking

Parenting Standardized Tests: A Series for Parents of School-aged Children

A History of Standardized Test Taking

by Mary E. Miele, learning specialist and founder of The Evolved Education Company

Children in public schools today will take between 18 and 28 standardized test before they graduate. Private schools typically require students to perform on a standardized test to gain admission, then students typically take one standardized test per year beginning in the first grade.

Standardized testing began over a century ago and the intentions of these tests are primarily to determine students’ progress or aptitude levels and the effectiveness of education programming.

Given standardized testing’s extensive history and its consistent revisions both with regard to policy and practice, it stands to reason that standardized tests are going to remain a component of our education landscape. Understanding this history and the recent changes in both law and practice is an important aspect of parenting standardized testing.

Read on to learn more about key dates in the history of standardized testing.

1845—education pioneer Horace Mann introduced the idea of written tests for school aged children. Before this, students were asked to demonstrate knowledge by telling what they knew.

World War I—Army Mental tests were conducted to assign U.S. Servicemen jobs during the war effort.

1920s—SAT or the Scholastic Aptitude Test began at this time it was known as the College Entrance Examination Board. The original test lasted 90 minutes and consisted of 315 questions testing knowledge of vocabulary and basic math and included fill-in-the-blank analogies. This test remained unchanged until 2005 when the analogies were done away with and a writing section was added—the perfect score changed from a 1600 to a 2400. Then, in 2016 a redesigned SAT is implemented—its goal to test college readiness and align itself to the common core standards.

1936—The first automatic tests scanner was created—a rudimentary computer called the IBM 805.

1959—Everett Franklin Lindquist developed the ACT. The original ACT included a section that guided students toward a course of study by asking questions about interests. The SAT was geared more toward testing logic, while the ACT is considered a test of accumulated knowledge.

1960s—The federal government started pushing new achievement tests designed to evaluate instrumental methods and schools.

1965—Elementary and Secondary Education Act is passed –also known as the “War on Poverty” Title 1—a program created by the US Department of Education to distribute funding to schools and school districts with a high percentage of low-income families.

1994—Improving America’s Schools Act—added math and language standards, reduced the required % of low-income families needed in a school to receive funds, gave more control to local governments for school improvements

1999—In New York—the first administration of the Grade 4 and Grade 8 Tests in ELA and Math

21st century—has brought on the SAT II, designed for individual subjects, and Advanced Placement Tests, which some universities accept for students who want to opt out of introductory college-level classes.

2001—President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind education reform

  • Expanded state-mandated standardized testing as a means of assessing school performance.
  • Schools published annual report cards detailing their student achievement data and demographics

2006—First administration of Grades 3-8 Tests in ELA and Math

2008—In a paper in the Annual Review of Sociology, Eric Grodsky, John Robert Warren and Erika Felts examine the relationship between testing and social inequality.

2009—Common Core standards are created

2012–Obama’s Race to the Top or R2T is passed; its main goals are to develop rigorous standards and better assessments, adapt better data systems to provide schools, teachers and parents with information about student progress, support teachers and school leaders to be more effective and increase emphasis and resources for the rigorous interventions needed to turn around the lowest-performing schools.

2013—First administration of Grades 3-8 Tests in ELA and Math Aligned to Common Core

2014-2016 First administrations of Regents Exams aligned to Common Core Standards

Summer 2015–Pearson loses its contract to create standardized tests in the state of NY. Questar Assessment Inc. is taking over the creation of NY State’s Standardized Tests.

December 10, 2015–Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan bill that will help make sure every student is prepared to succeed in a 21st century economy. This reform rejects the overuse of standardized tests and one-size-fits all mandates, and instead, empowers states and school districts to develop their own strategies for improvement. The effects of this bill will be seen in the 2017-2018 school year.

March 2016–The redesigned SAT takes the place of the SAT. The new SAT is based on the latest research on the skills colleges value most.

Resources for more information on this topic can be found on these websites:

http://daily.jstor.org/short-history-standardized-tests/

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1947019,00.html

https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/k-12/race-to-the-top

Pearson loses huge testing contract in New York — and gets more bad news