Testing
Testing is a requirement in many states. We make it easy to comply with testing requirements by gathering information and resources for testing services all in one place.
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Homeschool Library Connection
The library can be an awesome resource for homeschoolers, but is useless if it doesn't carry the books that homeschoolers need. The sole purpose of the Homeschool Library Connection email list is to help homeschoolers make purchasing suggestions to their public libraries.
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, Revised and Updated Edition
"Outstanding...should be on every home educator's reference bookshelf."—Homeschooling Today This book will instruct you, step by step, on how to give your child an academically rigorous, comprehensive education from preschool through high school. Two veteran home educators outline the classical pattern of education—the trivium—which organizes learning around the maturing capacity of the child's mind: the elementary school "grammar stage," the middle school "logic stage," and the ...
Homeschooling with a Large Family
This podcast features Amy of Raising Arrows who currently has seven children on earth and one in Heaven. She shares ideas and encouragement for anyone who is homeschooling more than four children.
U.S. Department of Education
The website for the U.S. Department of Education.
Ungraduation
One mother's reminiscences about her son's high school years as an unschooler, and his transition to college.
Testing Services, Suppliers, and Resources
PLATO Learning, Inc./eduTest Assessment
PLATO Learning, Inc. delivers just-in-time online assessments that are tied directly to state and provincial standards. Their courseware includes thousands of hours of basic to advanced level instructional content for K-adult learners. They provide web based assessments that assist in placement, progress monitoring, and accountability requirements with diagnostic and prescriptive tests, simulated high-stakes tests, lesson progress tests, standards-based tests, and cumulative tests.
Piedmont Education Services
Piedmont Education Services offers the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III), along with test prep materials.
The Princeton Review
Search for schools and careers, find test preparation courses, get information on scholarships, and more.
The College Board
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 4,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves over three and a half million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program®(AP).
Curriculum Associates
Offers BRIGANCE Screening and Inventories products. Designed for use in elementary and middle schools, the CIBS-R is a valuable resource for programs serving students with special needs, and continues to be indispensable in IEP development and program planning.
Christian Liberty
To help you in the critical task of selecting appropriate materials for your child, Christian Liberty Press has developed several specialized services for homeschoolers. They can test your child and also provide a customized curriculum recommendation that is suited for your child’s skill level.
FairTest (The National Center for Fair & Open Testing)
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial. They place special emphasis on eliminating the racial, class, gender, and cultural barriers to equal opportunity posed by standardized tests, and preventing their damage to the quality of education. Based on Goals and Principles, they provide information, technical assistance and advocacy on a broad range of testing concerns, focusing on three areas: K-12, university admissions, and employment tests. FairTest publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Examiner, plus a full catalog of materials on both K- 12 and university testing to aid teachers, administrators, students, parents and researchers. They also have numerous fact sheets available on standardized testing and alternative assessment.
Bob Jones University Testing and Evaluation Services
Offers the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), the Stanford Achievement Test, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), and the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT). There are some specific guidelines for administering these tests, including requirements in some cases for a bachelor's degree, teacher certification, and/or special training in test administration. Also offered are test support products designed to help your child achieve higher test scores.
Trust Tutoring
Trust Tutoring offers an Evaluation of Basic Skills, a standardized test of reading, writing, and math skills for ages 3-18.
Future School
Future School online learning systems support your entire family in both the classroom and the home using only qualified teachers to ensure its educational services. They offer tutoring students in the home, classroom and after school facilities, providing both face-to-face, telephone and online assistance in the two core areas of literacy and numeracy. Future School has also many years experience in the development of Basic Skill Tests in mathematics and English covering years 3, 5, and 7, including the materials, delivery, marking, psychometrics and reporting to Education Departments, schools, and parents.
Bayside School Services
Bayside School Services offers do-it-yourself standardized achievement tests, available all year. Bayside gives you original publisher materials plus genuine CTB scoring reports, including free practice tests for all grades where available. Test prices include shipping, handling, scoring and all practice tests. Special pricing available for group orders.
Crosspointe Educational Services
Crosspointe Educational Services is a mail order service that offers state-approved Survey and Complete Battery California Achievement Tests (CAT) in an effort to meet your testing needs. Their flexibility allows you your choice of testing dates and the opportunity to administer the test in the comfort of your own home; or you may choose to test with your support group or choose someone outside your home school to test your student.
Thurber's Educational Assessments
Offering the California Achievement Test (C.A.T./5), specifically the C.A.T./5 Complete Battery and the C.A.T./5 Survey. They also offer TerraNova CTBS and TerraNova 2 (CAT/6) for homeschools, private schools, or organized groups. Test results are sent directly to you, helping you understand your student’s academic standing.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program and the National Achievement® Scholarship Program–annual competitions for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships.
Family Learning Organization Testing Services
Family Learning Organization offers standardized tests for homeschooling families. Through their Educational Assessment & Testing Service, tests may be obtained by parents to administer to their homeschooled children. Their services include standardized achievement tests (California Achievement Test, Fifth Edition), review of parent-administered assessments by a certified teacher, toll-free telephone answers to your questions about administering tests and interpreting results, and computerized score printouts for tests including Percentile Rankings, Grade Equivalencies, Stanine Scores and Scaled Scores, where applicable.
Catforms Testing Service
Catforms Testing Service offers the 1970 California Achievement Tests with their own answer sheets and computer scoring. Key features of this system include graphical results in color, cumulative comparisons from year to year, and a detailed analysis of strengths and weaknesses in each area of the test. In addition to the original 1970 norms, they also have their own norms, the Catforms Percentiles, which are updated annually from the tests they have on file. The Catforms Percentiles are not a national norm, but are useful in comparing your students' performance with others from Christian schools and home schools today.
Seton Home Study School Testing Services
Seton offers standardized testing for homeschoolers. They featuring the CAT-E Survey tests, which are inexpensive, can be administered in your home, and have a very quick turn around.
Triangle Education Assessments
Triangle Education Assessments offers the Iowa Tests and Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement.
Educational Testing Services (ETS)
Educational Testing Services (ETS) is an organization that provides a range of products and services, including research, test administration, test scoring, and more. This organization develops and administers AP, GRE, and SAT tests, among others.
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources/PASS Test
The PASS Test was developed specifically for home schoolers. It has certain similarities to other achievement tests in that it estimates student achievement in the subjects of reading, language, and math. But is has important differences. It introduces four major improvements over most achievement tests presently available. First, it was designed for parents to administer at home. This can greatly reduce the stress level of testing. Second, it is untimed, which helps students to relax. Third, the student's approximate achievement level within his or her grade is initially identified by use of a brief accompanying placement test. This assigns each child to a test level where he or she is more likely to succeed, and it also allows for shorter tests. Finally, testing results show overall achievement as well as performance in each subject. The test is standardized and children's scores are compared with both national and home-schooling populations. This does not mean that the test is nationally normed, but that the scores are equated to those of public school students taking one of the nationally-normed tests. The states of Alaska, New York, and North Carolina have officially approved the PASS Test for purposes of state reporting. In other states which require testing, you should check with your local school district to make sure it meets their requirements.
Testing Issues in the Homeschool
Testing and Assessment: What Do the Tests Tell Us?
Many parents arrive in the world of gifted education with a report full of tests results, supposedly defining their child as "gifted." But more often than not, parents have more questions than answers upon receiving those test results. And just as often, the short answers from the psychologist, the school, the teachers, and other parents do more to confuse than clarify.
The SAT vs. the ACT: Which to Choose?
Colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. So which should you take? It's all about the numbers. Some students end up scoring substantially higher on the SAT; others do better on the ACT. The Princeton Review Assessment (PRA) is designed to help you determine which test is better fit with your abilities.
Students Against Testing
This website offers an alternative look at standardized testing. Students Against Testing was created to be a strong force against the score-obsessed education machine known as standardized testing. At the same time, SAT also exists as an advocate for bringing positive, creative and real-life learning activities into the schools.
What’s a Test? Why Unschoolers Test Scores Prove Nothing about Method
Most of us are familiar with the school perspective as so many of us have first-hand experience with it. It goes something like this: To learn, one must have a teacher dole out information. Your assignment as student, if you choose to accept it, is to work very hard to retain the information provided so you can score well on tests. When you score well on tests, you will be able to tack on four additional years of schooling by going to college. The better your test scores, the better the college you can attend. “Success” will ultimately be achieved when you getting a good job so you can make as much money as possible. Less familiar is the unschoolers perspective which goes something like this: “I would be against trying to cram knowledge into the heads of children even if we could agree on what knowledge to cram and could be sure that it would not go out of date, even if we could be sure that, once crammed in, it would stay in. Even then, I would trust the child to direct his own learning . For it seems to me a fact that, in our struggle to make sense out of life, the things we most need to learn are the things we most want to learn. ”
The Case for Authentic Assessment
Assessment is authentic when we directly examine student performance on worthy intellectual tasks. Traditional assessment, by contract, relies on indirect or proxy 'items'--efficient, simplistic substitutes from which we think valid inferences can be made about the student's performance at those valued challenges.
Home-Schooled Students and College Board Standardized Testing
A letter from Peter Negroni, Vice President, Teaching and Learning, of the College Board, addressing the procedure for students to take the PSAT/NMSQT, AP, or any other secure College Board tests.
ACT vs SAT: Key differences between the ACT and SAT
ACT vs SAT: which test is a better fit for your student? Students may take whichever test they prefer (assuming there are available testing locations for both tests). If you’re not sure which test your child would prefer, consider the key differences between the ACT and SAT. Some students find that the ACT caters to their strengths more so than the SAT, and vice versa. Need a quick side-by-side comparison of the tests? Check out this ACT vs SAT Comparison Chart.
What does the SAT measure? Aptitude? Achievement? Anything?
When the first SAT was created, it was named the Scholastic Aptitude Test, signaling that its creators and the education world believed it to be a test of aptitude, or, a student’s ability to perform well in college. Aptitude tests supposedly measure talents that indicate possible achievement in the future, while achievement tests supposedly reveal how much someone has learned in the past. All these years later, we know the test never really did measure anybody’s aptitude to do well in college.
Testing in the Schools
John Holt's article in which he lists questions that should be asked of school districts' testing policies.
The Evils Of Mandatory Testing
As home schooling grows as a movement, there is increasing politics from anti-home school forces to try to interfere with or legislatively control home schoolers. This has come to include legislative attempts to force home school students to take standardized tests along with public school students. But mandatory testing doesn't work in public schools, and it won't work for home schoolers.
It's Time for the PSAT/NMSQT
Although this article has some outdated date information in it, it is a good discussion of the use of the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) for homeschoolers, especially those who are interested in qualifying for certain scholarships.
Testing Services, Suppliers, & Resources
PLATO Learning, Inc./eduTest Assessment
PLATO Learning, Inc. delivers just-in-time online assessments that are tied directly to state and provincial standards. Their courseware includes thousands of hours of basic to advanced level instructional content for K-adult learners. They provide web based assessments that assist in placement, progress monitoring, and accountability requirements with diagnostic and prescriptive tests, simulated high-stakes tests, lesson progress tests, standards-based tests, and cumulative tests.
Piedmont Education Services
Piedmont Education Services offers the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III), along with test prep materials.
The Princeton Review
Search for schools and careers, find test preparation courses, get information on scholarships, and more.
The College Board
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 4,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves over three and a half million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program®(AP).
Curriculum Associates
Offers BRIGANCE Screening and Inventories products. Designed for use in elementary and middle schools, the CIBS-R is a valuable resource for programs serving students with special needs, and continues to be indispensable in IEP development and program planning.
Christian Liberty
To help you in the critical task of selecting appropriate materials for your child, Christian Liberty Press has developed several specialized services for homeschoolers. They can test your child and also provide a customized curriculum recommendation that is suited for your child’s skill level.
FairTest (The National Center for Fair & Open Testing)
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial. They place special emphasis on eliminating the racial, class, gender, and cultural barriers to equal opportunity posed by standardized tests, and preventing their damage to the quality of education. Based on Goals and Principles, they provide information, technical assistance and advocacy on a broad range of testing concerns, focusing on three areas: K-12, university admissions, and employment tests. FairTest publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Examiner, plus a full catalog of materials on both K- 12 and university testing to aid teachers, administrators, students, parents and researchers. They also have numerous fact sheets available on standardized testing and alternative assessment.
Bob Jones University Testing and Evaluation Services
Offers the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), the Stanford Achievement Test, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), and the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT). There are some specific guidelines for administering these tests, including requirements in some cases for a bachelor's degree, teacher certification, and/or special training in test administration. Also offered are test support products designed to help your child achieve higher test scores.
Trust Tutoring
Trust Tutoring offers an Evaluation of Basic Skills, a standardized test of reading, writing, and math skills for ages 3-18.
Future School
Future School online learning systems support your entire family in both the classroom and the home using only qualified teachers to ensure its educational services. They offer tutoring students in the home, classroom and after school facilities, providing both face-to-face, telephone and online assistance in the two core areas of literacy and numeracy. Future School has also many years experience in the development of Basic Skill Tests in mathematics and English covering years 3, 5, and 7, including the materials, delivery, marking, psychometrics and reporting to Education Departments, schools, and parents.
Bayside School Services
Bayside School Services offers do-it-yourself standardized achievement tests, available all year. Bayside gives you original publisher materials plus genuine CTB scoring reports, including free practice tests for all grades where available. Test prices include shipping, handling, scoring and all practice tests. Special pricing available for group orders.
Crosspointe Educational Services
Crosspointe Educational Services is a mail order service that offers state-approved Survey and Complete Battery California Achievement Tests (CAT) in an effort to meet your testing needs. Their flexibility allows you your choice of testing dates and the opportunity to administer the test in the comfort of your own home; or you may choose to test with your support group or choose someone outside your home school to test your student.
Thurber's Educational Assessments
Offering the California Achievement Test (C.A.T./5), specifically the C.A.T./5 Complete Battery and the C.A.T./5 Survey. They also offer TerraNova CTBS and TerraNova 2 (CAT/6) for homeschools, private schools, or organized groups. Test results are sent directly to you, helping you understand your student’s academic standing.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program and the National Achievement® Scholarship Program–annual competitions for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships.
Family Learning Organization Testing Services
Family Learning Organization offers standardized tests for homeschooling families. Through their Educational Assessment & Testing Service, tests may be obtained by parents to administer to their homeschooled children. Their services include standardized achievement tests (California Achievement Test, Fifth Edition), review of parent-administered assessments by a certified teacher, toll-free telephone answers to your questions about administering tests and interpreting results, and computerized score printouts for tests including Percentile Rankings, Grade Equivalencies, Stanine Scores and Scaled Scores, where applicable.
Catforms Testing Service
Catforms Testing Service offers the 1970 California Achievement Tests with their own answer sheets and computer scoring. Key features of this system include graphical results in color, cumulative comparisons from year to year, and a detailed analysis of strengths and weaknesses in each area of the test. In addition to the original 1970 norms, they also have their own norms, the Catforms Percentiles, which are updated annually from the tests they have on file. The Catforms Percentiles are not a national norm, but are useful in comparing your students' performance with others from Christian schools and home schools today.
Seton Home Study School Testing Services
Seton offers standardized testing for homeschoolers. They featuring the CAT-E Survey tests, which are inexpensive, can be administered in your home, and have a very quick turn around.
Triangle Education Assessments
Triangle Education Assessments offers the Iowa Tests and Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement.
Educational Testing Services (ETS)
Educational Testing Services (ETS) is an organization that provides a range of products and services, including research, test administration, test scoring, and more. This organization develops and administers AP, GRE, and SAT tests, among others.
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources/PASS Test
The PASS Test was developed specifically for home schoolers. It has certain similarities to other achievement tests in that it estimates student achievement in the subjects of reading, language, and math. But is has important differences. It introduces four major improvements over most achievement tests presently available. First, it was designed for parents to administer at home. This can greatly reduce the stress level of testing. Second, it is untimed, which helps students to relax. Third, the student's approximate achievement level within his or her grade is initially identified by use of a brief accompanying placement test. This assigns each child to a test level where he or she is more likely to succeed, and it also allows for shorter tests. Finally, testing results show overall achievement as well as performance in each subject. The test is standardized and children's scores are compared with both national and home-schooling populations. This does not mean that the test is nationally normed, but that the scores are equated to those of public school students taking one of the nationally-normed tests. The states of Alaska, New York, and North Carolina have officially approved the PASS Test for purposes of state reporting. In other states which require testing, you should check with your local school district to make sure it meets their requirements.
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Tomorrows Child
Tomorrow's Child magazine offers insights and information that helps parents to feel confident that Montessori will prepare their children for the real world. It will help you understand and appreciate Montessori and apply it in your home.
Help for the Harried Homeschooler : A Practical Guide to Balancing Your Child's Education with the Rest of Your Life
Homeschooling moms and dads can be overwhelmed by the demands on their time. Between their children’s educational needs; their roles as spouse, parent, and more; and their own individual desires and goals, these mothers and fathers struggle to accomplish all that must be done. In Help for the Harried Homeschooler, experienced homeschooler, author, and mother of four Christine Field offers sound advice for parents who want not only to achieve homeschooling success but also to reach a balanc...
The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had
An engaging, accessible guide to educating yourself in the classical tradition. Surrounded by more books than ever, readers today are frequently daunted by the classics they have left unread. The Well-Educated Mind, debunking our own inferiority complexes, is a wonderful resource for anyone wishing to explore and develop the mind's capacity to read and comprehend the "greatest hits" in fiction, autobiography, history, poetry, and drama. Far from tossing readers into the swarming sea of classi...
A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
In 1991, shortly after receiving both the New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year Awards, John Gatto resigned to begin a new career as an education reform advocate. In this collection of 16 essays, Gatto analyzes the problems of American education and suggests solutions for revitalizing the system — prescriptions that run counter to current trends.
Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook
A short, illustrated guide to the use of Montessori classroom materials. Describes how to set up a "children's house" - an environment for learning where children can be their own masters.