Standardized Testing Philosophy
Mention testing to children or adults and you could get a wide variety of responses. While some take it in stride, for others testing of any kind can bring on anxiety to an unbearable level. We have all heard others say that they just aren't good test takers. Even teachers and educators are subject to test anxiety. And let's be honest the memories of our own childhood and our testing experiences influence us as parents and teachers. So how do you find out if your teaching the right material? How do you find out if your students are learning what they need to? And how do you evaluate your program?
At SJCA, we are committed to evaluating student learning and school effectiveness on a continual basis. SJCA utilizes various methods of evaluation to gain knowledge and implement continuous improvements as necessary. SJCA teachers use formal and informal assessments in the classroom through homework, tests, and objective observations of understanding. We encourage a multi-measure approach when assessing student learning. SJCA teachers collaborate with one another from year to year as needed to understand students individual learning needs.
At SJCA we have the freedom to focus on a comprehensive curriculum. Because we have the freedom to choose our own standardized test, we choose to not participate in federally mandated test. In 2010, we followed ACSI lead and made the change from the Stanford Achievement Test to the ACSI Edition of TerraNova, Third Edition Achievement test. TerraNova 3 content is closely aligned to state and national standards. It is designed to measure concepts, processes, and objectives taught throughout the nation in Reading, Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The ACSI Edition includes the Bible Assessment Subtest and five additional PLUS tests for assessment in Word Analysis, Vocabulary, Spelling, Language Mechanics, and Math Computation.
As a part of the TerraNova students also take the InView which allows teachers, leaders and parents to assess student’s potential performance abilities. This is an invaluable tool when reviewing data to evaluate current curriculum and programs.
Each year, SJCA administration provides TerrraNova results to our teachers. We utilize many resources to help breakdown the information and present the results to Faculty and Staff. SJCA is blessed to have a diagnostician on campus who assists with this process.
SJCA specifically utilizes tests to insure that students are properly placed in the appropriate grade level and to provide information for each student's cumulative file so rate of progress can be observed. Test scores demonstrate accountability to parents and provide teachers with information that assists them in evaluating their personal performance and the curriculum used. Test scores are used to chart historical patterns and assist in the evaluation of individual teachers and curriculum. Test scores provide data necessary to discover class and individual student weaknesses as well as to compare SJCA’s norm with the norms from other schools.
At SJCA, we believe that one test alone does not solve or answer all questions regarding student, teacher and or curriculum performance but should be viewed as one tool for assessment.