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Should We Test Homeschoolers?

Information on Testing:

Homeschooling articles against standardized testing of children. Opinions of psychologists. Alternatives to testing.

The defect in the intelligence test is that high marks are gained by those who subsequently prove to be practically illiterate. So much time has been spent in studying the art of being tested that the candidate has rarely had time for anything else.

– C. Northcote Parkinson

Beyond the Standards
I believe time spent on prepping to executing standardized testing, has crossed the line from a healthy way to track performance to an unhealthy competition, of sorts.

The Case for Annual Testing
Conservatives, progressives, concerned parents, and unions: That is a formidable set of opponents to standards, testing, and accountability. You would expect these groups to have captured the attention of elected representatives in Washington. And they have.

Facts on standardized tests and assessment alternatives
In pursuit of higher test scores, the curriculum has been narrowed and “dumbed-down” to match the tests. Children learn less.

The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing–But You Don’t Have to Be

The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing–But You Don’t Have to Be
by Anya Kamenetz
Your child is more than a score. But in the last twenty years, schools have dramatically increased standardized testing, sacrificing hours of classroom time. What is the cost to students, teachers, and families? How do we preserve space for self-directed learning and development—especially when we still want all children to hit the mark?
Kindle Edition

Homeschoolers and Standardized Testing
Personally, I think the requirement for homeschoolers to take standardized tests is absolutely ridiculous. It makes me take a day off from our productive school work to take a test that means nothing and cannot accurately gauge what your student knows or doesn’t know. But, we do it because it is part of the law.

How do Homeschooling Parents Know their Children are Learning?
By direct observation! Writes Jan Hunt, in The Natural Child Project.

I’d Rather ______ Than Fill in the Test Bubbles
Folks, I am a school psychologist. I used to assess for a living. I see true value in assessment when it is well planned, for a specific purpose, and when it is infrequent. Nowadays, however, children are often assessed monthly. Time is valuable and, in my opinion, time spent doing frequent assessments could be better used to benefit our nation’s young people.

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Test Scorer
Given the ongoing debate over these policies, it might be useful to hear about the experiences of a hidden sector of the education workforce: those of us who make our living scoring these tests. Our experiences also provide insight into how the testing mania is stunting the development of millions of young minds. By Dan DiMaggio, Monthly Review.

Not On The Test
Music and lyrics by John Forster & Tom Chapin.
Go on to sleep now, third grader of mine.
The test is tomorrow but you’ll do just fine.
It’s reading and math. Forget all the rest.
You don’t need to know what is not on the test.
(Rest of the lyrics to “Not on the Test” here. Chords are a standard progression: C, Am, F, and G7.)

Pop The Bubbles: Thoughts on Standardized Testing
The opt out movement has grown to the point where nearly 30,000 students on Long Island skipped state mandated tests last spring.

Obeying the Law, Testing, & “Qualifying” to Homeschool
Barbara Edtl Shelton argues against testing from a Christian parent’s point of view.

On Standardized Testing
Tests are of questionable value in the primary grades especially.

The meeting place for parents, educators and citizens concerned with the miseducation of children in the name of higher standardized test scores. We plan to use grassroots organization, public education, civic participation and humor to stem the destructive tide of the standardized testing craze.

Should Homeschoolers be Forced to Take Standardized Tests?
Homeschooling generally focuses on learning how to learn. It is this that matters in the long run. Until they can show that they really know what should be taught and how, they should allow those with the courage and love to sacrifice for education do so in peace. By Terrie Bittner.

Standardized Testing and the Flight to Homeschooling
America’s Moms and Dads need to rethink the whole standards and accountability movement, because our public schools are facing a test-prep overdose that cries out for a parent-driven intervention. By Laura Brodie.

Standardized Testing in the Homeschool: Yes or No?
In the end, the choice of whether or not to use standardized testing in the homeschool comes down to individual belief and choice. Choosing a balanced approach to the testing question has worked well in our homeschool. By Marianne Sunderland.

Standardized Testing: Should it Define Our Children?
“In order to apply for this program, we need a copy of her birth certificate, a copy of her social security card, a copy of her vaccination record and her most recent standardized test scores.” There are many things in our lives that can affect the way we define ourselves and determine our future—appearance, life experience, family, friends, environment, success, failure, social skills, emotions—but standardized test scores should not be one of these things.

Standardized Testing your Homeschooler
Now that we’ve completed our first year of testing, I want to assure you that it is not as difficult as you may think it is. The tests are fairly easy to order, administer, and submit. Our kids did very well on them and it was a nice re-assurance to me that we are doing well in our decision to homeschool. I do have a few areas to work on, and that is a good thing to find out as well.

“I do not administer annual standardized testing so I cannot tell you whether or not my children are at level with other children their age in public schools. On the other hand, I also cannot be sure that the public school children are at the same level as my children.” By Heather Sanders, The Pioneer Woman.

Why Standardized Tests Don’t Measure Educational Quality
One of the chief reasons that students’ standardized test scores continue to be the most important factor in evaluating a school is deceptively simple. Most educators do not really understand why a standardized test provides a misleading estimate of a school staff’s effectiveness. They should. By W. James Popham, ASCD.

More Testing Resources on A2ZHomeschooling.com

Comparing Testing Requirements
Holding Children Accountable
Should We Test?
Testing Homeschoolers
Testing Services
Test Results – ACT
To Test Gifted Kids or Not?

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