standardized test

standardized test

Children from Military Families Perform Better on Progress Exams

filled out test formAccording to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress testing program, children who attend school on military bases do better academically than students who attend public schools. The test assess fourth and eighth graders in math and reading.

Thirty-two percent of fourth grade students who attend public schools had scores that show them as being proficient in reading. At the military schools, seven percent more (39 percent) students scored the same.

Another impressive finding showed that there is a smaller achievement gap between white and African American students in the military schools, and this gap is shrinking faster than the gaps at public schools.

So how are these military schools preparing their students so well? Is it extra test preparation?

“No,” said Leigh Anne Kapiko, the principal of Tarawa Terrace Elementary, a military school in Jacksonville, North Carolina. “That’s not done in Department of Defense schools. We don’t even have test prep materials.”

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The State of Arizona Uses a New Test to Determine If Students Are Ready for College

High school students in Arizona might have a bigger worry than if they will win their football games this year. A new study reveals that many of them are not on track to pursue a college education.

In January 2011, the ACT Explore standardized test was given to almost 20,000 eighth-grade students and it showed that many of these students are likely to not be able to pass a college entrance exam, even though 62 percent hope to pursue a four year degree. The test also surveys the students about their interests in order to be able to offer advice concerning future careers. However, if the students are not able to pursue a higher education, their future career options will be limited.

How should the schools combat this discouraging news? Many are planning on using the results to place students in remedial or advanced high school classes, depending on how the students did on the exam. Sadly, this means that about a third of the students will be placed in advanced classes for math and reading, while half will be on track for English classes. The worst of the news concerns science: only 10 percent of the students are on track for this subject.

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Fresh Prep Lets Students Rap to Learn History

Studying for a standardized test can be dull, not to mention, very difficult. For high school students in New York City, the ultimate standardized tests are the Regents exams. How hard are these test? To give you an idea, here’s a sample question from this test goes something like this:

“Which idea did the founding fathers include in the Constitution that allows Congress to meet the needs of a changing society? 1. Federalism. 2. Separation of Powers. 3. The Elastic Clause. 4. States’ Rights.”

Pretty hard, right? So how should students prepare themselves for this test? They could pour over textbooks for endless hours, or they could sit with some their classmates and rap.

A new program called Fresh Prep is allowing students to do just that. Founded by the Urban Arts Partnership, Fresh Prep is attempting to help students pass the test so that they can graduate high school.

However, the students will have a hard time passing the test if they can’t understand the questions. Therefore, Fresh Prep “translates” the questions into a language that the students can understand.

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