assessment tests

Assessmet tests, percentiles and bragging

For children in the public school system, assessment tests are practically a weekly thing. The schedule for testing is incredible. No wonder ‘teaching for the test’ is such a common concept now. For homeschoolers, there is a requirement that children take one state assessment test every other year until high school, then every year until graduation.

Since this is my daughter’s second year of homeschooling, we were obligated to select one of our state’s approved tests and administer it. A friend of mine is a public school teacher, and she graciously agreed to proctor this test for Daughter.

It’s the typical, timed, No. 2 pencil test. Remember those?

Needless to say, Daughter was stressed. Anytime we have to be tested on what we know – or don’t know – stress levels rise. You can imagine mine rose, too. I felt as though it were not just Daughter being tested, but myself as well. I have, after all, been her teacher for the past two years.

In order to ‘pass’ these assessment tests, children have to score in the 33rd percentile. In case you’re unsure what that means, allow me to explain – it means in order to pass, a child must score higher on the test than 33% of the children who have taken it. It has nothing to do with their actual score. Yes. You read that correctly.

Well, I knew Daughter would pass but I wanted her to breeze by, not simply pass. After all the effort she – and I – put in this year (and last), I hoped for that. My hopes were answered yesterday when her score came back from the state. She not only surpassed the 33% expectation, she surpassed everything I could have dreamed. My homeschooled child scored in the 98th percentile.

Snoopy-dancing!

When I took the time to average her overall scores and not just gaze dreamily at the percentile, I saw her average is a 96. Ninety-six.

How wonderful it was to realize all the work this child did throughout the year , all of my gentle persuasion  , my agressive mothering, my patience , and reserved encouragment paid off so well.

We celebrated last night. What an affirming end to our second homeschooling year.

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