Standardized Testing
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Thread: Standardized Testing

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    bbooth's Avatar
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    Default Standardized Testing

    My daughter is on the autism spectrum and just completed 3rd grade through T4L. I would like to know your thoughts on which grade level to test her on. I am thinking about testing her on a 2nd grade level due to her reading comprehension and weak math skills.

    I would like to know if this would be acceptable proof of progress even though she is testing a grade level behind? I was told it may be a better option to get an evaluator to assess her. What are your thoughts/experiences?

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    lovehmschlg's Avatar
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    I would definitely recommend having her evaluated as opposed to testing, if that's an option that is acceptable in your state according to your state's homeschooling law. We live in Florida. Our daughter with learning challenges has never done a test. Always evaluations. We only need to show progress, and there's always been progress. It's also a better way to determine your child's strengths and weaknesses.
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    Janet
    enjoying homeschooling and learning with my kids, using T4L and T4W
    blogging our homeschool experiences at The Learning Hourglass


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    bbooth's Avatar
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    Well thank you for your input. I have considered the evaluation instead of testing but I am unfamiliar with the process.

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    We use a certified teacher who does an oral evaluation with our daughter. I recommend that you contact a homeschool support group in your area or your state homeschool association. They would be able to give you names of certified teachers who do evaluations. I've included the links there to a couple of websites that can help you with that.

    Another wonderful resource is the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
    I did a search on their site for Special Needs and came up with this link. You can also call them directly for more specific information, maybe a referral in your area.

    I hope that's more helpful than my first answer. Best wishes to you.
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    Janet
    enjoying homeschooling and learning with my kids, using T4L and T4W
    blogging our homeschool experiences at The Learning Hourglass


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    SandyKC is offline Junior Member
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    Default Validity of Testing by dropping the grade level

    Quote Originally Posted by bbooth View Post
    My daughter is on the autism spectrum and just completed 3rd grade through T4L. I would like to know your thoughts on which grade level to test her on. I am thinking about testing her on a 2nd grade level due to her reading comprehension and weak math skills.

    I would like to know if this would be acceptable proof of progress even though she is testing a grade level behind? I was told it may be a better option to get an evaluator to assess her. What are your thoughts/experiences?
    Are you looking for "acceptable proof of progress" for your school district? What grade should your child be in chronologically?

    Has your child had standardized testing previously? If so, her testing should be in line with the prior testing with the appropriate grade-level advancement applied to show whether there is progress or not.

    If your child is chronologically in the third or fourth grade, then dropping the grade level to second grade would basically invalidate the testing results and it wouldn't provide "proof of progress". Standardized testing is based upon age and grade norms, and reports achievement as compared to other children of the SAME grade level for the test. Thus, the percentile rankings information would show how well your daughter does as compared to other second graders if you drop the grade level.

    If you test her at the third grade level, then you would be comparing her progress to the progress of other third graders.

    The only way to determine PROGRESS is to compare a prior valid test result to a current valid test result to see if she is advancing in ability--basically staying at the same or increasing in her percentile rankings.

    Thus, if your DD was tested last year at the second grade level, you would test her at the third grade this year, and then you could compare the Grade Equivalents and percentile rankings to see if your DD has made progress. Rather than drop the grade level, you might find it helpful to use standard test accommodations to provide your daughter with a fair shot at the 3rd grade test.

    For example, reading aloud VERBATIM all of the test EXCEPT for the reading sections without any voice inflection that affects the child's choices. For the reading, she would need to read those parts herself since the point of the sections is to assess her reading ability. On the science section though, the point is to assess her science knowledge, so reading aloud is a valid accommodation. Marking answers in the book, extended time, dictating answers, etc. can be used as accommodations too. The trick is to find a test administrator that is willing to test with accommodations or finding a test that permits you to test with accommodations. There are pluses and minuses for various tests, like the Stanford, ITBS, etc. More about the differences in those tow at: Stanford versus Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) – Which is best? » Learning Abled Kids

    You can get an evaluator to assess her, but there again--unless she has been evaluated before, the snapshot would be where she is NOW, and not necessarily indicative of progress versus a lack of progress. Measuring progress implies two points of assessment, otherwise, you're just determining where she is. Knowing that can be helpful all by itself.

    A comprehensive evaluation from a neuropsychologist could let you know where she is with all areas of academics and cognitive processes (comprehension, processing, memory, attention functioning, etc.). It may or may not fulfill state-level testing requirements depending upon your state rules.

    Hope that helps! Happy Homeschooling!

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