A Home School Parent’s View of the State-administered Standardized Tests

What benefit do we derive from high standardized-test results when our students are unable to translate academic theories into practical applications? What pride is there to be had when our kids are not able to work on their weaknesses and capitalize on their abilities?

The States in the Union use standardized tests to assess accountability objective for schools under their jurisdiction. State standardized tests are also utilized to determine a student’s academic achievement.

In California, we have the Standardized Tests and Reporting (STAR).

What purpose does a high STAR (Standardized Tests and Reporting) rating do when our children lack the intelligence to recognize their role in the society we called the global community? What function does proficiency in standardized tests do when students and schools are incapable of keeping pace with the growing trend in communication and technology?

[I assume] the content of the State-administered tests is derived from the recommended standard academic theories a child should at least have mastered for his grade level. I believe the district need to look into schools that continuously fail to meet at the very least an average score. A State-run test is a valuable tool used to analyze which subject area a school would probably need additional support.

Nevertheless, I suspect many in the educational institution have misinterpreted if not forgotten the vision and mission behind the tests. Schools, unfortunately, manage them more like college entrance exams rather than as an academic assessment aid. I doubt if the test results represent a factual analysis that aptly recognizes and addresses the educational needs of students.

Having said this, is it not possible that the data gathered from the tests results are no more than manufactured?

How effective would it be if an education system relies on State-issued test performances as a parameter for the success of a junior elementary, for instance – while the same child fails to understand why an 8-oz cup cannot hold 12-oz liquid? When a middle schooler fails to recognize – that although the world is composed of different continents that have incredible, diverse cultures and languages, – the world is still just one giant arena made up of interconnected social, economic and political structures. Or how about when a high-school student graduates without basic economic skills?

Given where we are in the field of global education, there is probably a necessity to revisit not only the standards and content of the STAR Test (and the like), but also its administration process. I’ll leave that to the professionals. My job is to support and direct my children to become not only happy and self-assured achievers, but also grow into effective citizens of the world; and the first step begins in our home.

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