View Full Version : Working below grade level and end of year testing

03-26-2012, 06:51 PM
I have begun the process of scheduling our end of year testing required in our state. I am worried though about how to handle my dd's situation. She is in third grade this year, but working at late second grade level math. She has really been struggling with math this year. So I'm worried that if she takes the third grade math test that she may not do well. How have you handled this? I'm looking at the CAT/5 and Terra Nova if that makes a difference. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

03-26-2012, 07:52 PM
what state? in VA, most ppl use the shorter CAT, which only covers math and english and is pretty easy - and of course, your kid only has to get in the 25th percentile or higher. You can buy a practice test, too. AND . . . if you submit a test that doesnt have a high enough score, you have a year to remediate, OR you can skip the test and hire a licensed teacher to do an evaluation to say that your child is making satisfactory progress - whatever you and the evaluator believe is satisfactory for your daughter.

Are you sure there is no option other than the standard test in your state?

03-26-2012, 09:00 PM
Yeah, I wondering a bunch of things... do you have to test? do you have to use those specific tests? do the results even mean anything (in some states you have to test, but the results just go on file and don't actually effect you)? do you even have to look at the results? how do you know if the level of math your text says it is the same as the level of math expected on the standardized test? Many times, the standardized test's level is much easier than many texts have the level - especially if you're using a program like Singapore with introduces some things slightly earlier than other programs.

03-26-2012, 09:16 PM
I am wondering which state as well and whether or not the PASS test is acceptable in your state. The PASS test covers varied levels per grade and first-time test takers use a placement test to determine which test level to administer in each subject. To use my son as an example, when he took the PASS placement test, he ended up testing in the highest level of language arts and the lowest level of math for his grade. Good luck!

03-26-2012, 10:04 PM
Julia is behind at least 2 years in reading and math. Technically, she should be at a 4th grade level but at best is working at a 2nd grade level do to her reading ability and math skills. We escaped the standardized test this year but next year we won't be so lucky. I've already decided that the CAT is the way to go. We are only required to test reading and math. The best part is I can pick the grade level and I found an evaluator who will administer the tests one on one. Next year, both girls will be tested at a 3rd grade level. This will be right on target for Sarah but still 2 years behind (according to the state) for Julia. I can live with that. Can you pick the grade level? If you can, I would have her tested for 2nd grade. Are you required to test more than reading and math??

03-26-2012, 11:11 PM
Thank you all for your responses. We are in NH. We can hire a portfolio evaluator or take a standardized test. Last year we did the NECAP test at the local ps and it worked out ok. I decided not to bring them back to the ps to test this year, thinking that my dd especially would feel more comfortable at home with me administering one of the other tests. I also havn't been thinking about putting together a portfolio at all, so it would require a fair amount of work, but doable. I've been looking into CAT and TerraNova since they do not need to be administered by a teacher like the Iowa test does. I don't see it mentioned anywhere that I am allowed to choose the grade level of the test. I will need to look into that more. Ginny- it looks like the PASS test is available to us. That sounds like an interesting option. I will look into that as well.

In our state, she must score at the 40th percentile or higher. We are almost finished working through Singapore 2A after trying Saxon last year, and TT and MM this year. I finally feel like we have a good fit for her but we had to back her way up in the process of switching curricula.

I just worry that something will cause us not to be able to hs anymore. I will try not to worry so much. Thanks, everyone.

03-26-2012, 11:26 PM
WindSong, I am a certified reading specialist in NH. I believe that this certification qualifies me for reviews (not sure--I'll have to double check.) Anyway if you want to pm me, I would be happy to look over your children's portfolios free of charge. You could just scan or mail me some of their work.

03-27-2012, 06:39 AM
I'd second the portfolio. They really aren't difficult to put together, and the idea behind them is to evaluate your child's progress instead of ability to answer random questions. It would remove the entire grade level issue for you. Most reviewers don't need to look at a lot of information, you can show where she was in the beginning of the year and where she is now with few examples.

In Maine, we have the option of group reviews, perhaps NH does as well? That way parents can talk to one another about curriculum and issues, as well as show off their kid's work to the evaluator.


speech mom
03-27-2012, 09:39 AM
Singapore 2A is actually above many states standards for 3rd grade. Your daughter may do well on the 3rd grade tests even with the book having the number 2.
Hunt down some practice tests before you get too worried. It will give you a better idea which test is a good fit for your daughter or if you need to try the portfolio.

My daughter is a 7th grader who has only completed Singapore 5A due to our going back to the beginning of Singapore to address some math anxiety and gaping holes coming out of public school in 3rd grade. She tested above the 7th grade level on national standards.

03-28-2012, 07:53 AM
I appreciate all of the great ideas here from everyone. I definitely feel less stressed about the end of year requirements since I have more options. :)

Laina- thank you for the generous offer- I may take you up on that! It does look like any certified teacher can be an evaluator.
Amy- that makes me feel much better. I did see a couple of testing sites that sold practice tests- great idea.
hockeymom- thank you for reminding me that it's progress we're looking for. That really helps.