DSEA, 136 E. Water St.
Dover, DE 19901
DSEA, 4135 Ogletown-Stanton Rd.
Suite 101 Newark, DE 19713
302-366-8440 (not a toll-free number)
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"High-stakes" tests are your business, too! Ask questions, get answers, and stay connected to the total evaluation of your child's classroom performance.
Quizzes and exams that teachers routinely use to check on students’ learning are the most common—and frequent—tests your child takes in school. In addition to classroom tests, your child may take one or more standardized achievement tests that schools are required to give each year. These tests, which provide a snapshot of what children know, are used to gauge how well schools educate students.
When your child takes an achievement test that the state requires, your child’s performance is either compared with the performance of other students who take the test in the school district and the entire state, or measured against a set of state standards.
As a parent, you should receive information regularly about your child’s performance on tests—the tests teachers use routinely in the classroom as well as state-required achievement tests.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions like the following about the tests your child takes at school:
Some of the tests your child takes in school may be “high-stakes” tests. These are tests that school districts and schools use to make important decisions that affect your child’s future, such as going on to the next grade level or graduating from high school. School districts and schools also use test results to identify children who will receive special services or participate in special programs. Special education services and programs for gifted and talented students are two examples.
You should not be overly concerned if test results are used as one factor in making high-stakes decisions, but you should be very concerned if they are the only factor considered when making these decisions. Your child’s report cards, his performance on routine classroom tests throughout the school year, and information your child’s teacher can provide about his performance also should be taken into account.
You can help your child do his or her best on tests by doing the following:
A more complete picture of your child’s learning Tests are far from perfect measures of what your child has learned at school, or of the quality of the school. At best, they only measure some of what he or she has learned. For this reason, tests are only one of the tools that teachers use to develop a complete picture of children’s learning. A more complete picture of your child’s learning also includes: