Guide To Standardized Tests

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There are several different standardized tests that are given across the nation. Your child will probably take their annual state-required test each year in grades 3-10, and then perhaps one of the other nationwide sampling tests depending on the year and your child's grade level. If you are wondering which tests your children or teen may be taking, or if you're looking for a quick guide to what a test is, check this list of tests to answer your most basic questions about standardized tests.

AMP - Alaska Measures of Progress

  • Who Gives it: State of Alaska Department of Education. The test was written Achievement and Assessment Institute at the University of Kansas
  • When is it given: Early April, given to grades 3- 10.
  • What is it for: This tests measure how well students have learned the grade level material for English and Math for the grade year. The data is also used for school and district-level accountability as required under NCLB.

KSA Kansas State Assessment

  • Who Gives it: Kansas State Department of Education
  • When is it given: Early March, Grades 3-8 and grade 10
  • What is it for: This tests measure how well students have learned the grade level material for English and Math for the grade year. The data is also used for school and district-level accountability as required under NCLB.

NAEP National Assessment of Educational Progress

  • Who Gives it: The US Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics Department
  • When is it given: There are two forms of the NAEP test. The main test is given from the last week of January through the first week of March to students in grades 4, 8, and 12. The test that is used for long-term trends is given to students age 9 (in winter), 13 (in autumn), and 17 (in spring).
  • What is it for: This test is used to give a picture of how children all over the country are doing. This is the test that the USA gives to compare our schools to schools around the world. This test does not report on individual students, but groups of students only. NAEP data does not measure individual schools the way state tests do. Data is given by state and US region.

    National Indian Education Study

    • Who Gives it: The US Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics Department
    • When is it given: This test is given in conjunction with the main NAEP test to fourth and eighth-grade American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students.
    • What is it for: students given the test take a portion of the Main NAEP test and an additional test to see if elements of American Indian and Alaska Native culture are included in the classroom curriculum. The Main portion ensure that AI/AN students are learning the same academic material as all other US children. The second portion is to see how well the education AI/AN students are receiving reflects their cultures and ways of knowing. Like the NAEP, individual data is not available, only data at the state and US regional level.

    PARCC

    • Who Gives it: Some states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards. PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment are the two most popular tests that states are choosing to use for the standardized testing requirements in the No Child Left Behind act. PARCC is written and administered through Pearson Education, Inc.
    • When is it given: Varies between different states. Most states give this test near the end of the school year. This test may be given in grades kindergarten through 12th grade, depending on state requirements.
    • What is it for: This test measures how well students have learned the grade level material for English/Language Arts and Math for the grade year. The data is also used for school and district-level accountability as required under NCLB.

    Smarter Balanced Assessment

    • Who Gives it: Some states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards. Smarter Balanced Assessment and PARCC are the two most popular tests that states are choosing to use for the standardized testing requirements in the No Child Left Behind act.
    • When is it given: Varies between different states. Most states give this test near the end of the school year. The test is usually given in grades 3-8 and grade 11.
    • What is it for: This tests measure how well students have learned the grade level material for English/Language Arts and Math for the grade year. The data is also used for school and district-level accountability as required under NCLB.

    TerraNova

    • Who Gives it: Department of Defense Schools, Schools that are still transitioning to Common Core State Standards. This was previously the most popular state standardized test until CCSS was adopted by most states. It is published and scored by CTB/McGraw Hill. In an effort to stay current and competitive, CTB/McGraw Hill is now offering a Common Core based version of the test to compete with Smarter balanced Assessment and PARCC.
    • When is it given: Varies depending on state. Typically the end of the year.
    • What is it for: This tests measure how well students have learned the grade level material for English/Language Arts, Math, and other grade level academic subjects such as science and social studies. The data may be also used for school and district-level accountability as required under NCLB. NCLB requires a nationally norm-referenced test to be given during fifth and seventh grade in most places. Since states set their own standards and have their own tests, TerraNova was a popular nationally norm-referenced test. With the implementation of Common Core state Standards, states have been adopting other tests that are nationally norm-referenced. Some states have been phasing out TerraNova testing, but it isn't gone completely yet.

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