What is the PARCC test?
The PARCC test is a computerized assessment; the combined sections take between 8 and 9.5 hours to complete (grade level dependent). The test is typically administered over a number of days.
What is the STAR Test?
The STAR test is an adaptive achievement test, similar to the NWEA MAP test. The STAR test originally only included a reading assessment; however, it has since expanded to include early literacy and mathematics. Reading assessments can be administered to all students in grades K-12. However, the math assessment is only available for grades K - 8. Each section takes about ten minutes to complete, somewhat shorter than the MAP Survey tests. STAR does not offer more in-depth testing.
The STAR reading assessment pairs with the Accelerated Reader program, a goal driven reading program that requires students to read within their AR level and answer questions on each book to gain points before advancing to more difficult texts.
How is the STAR Test scored?
Students receive a scaled score for each STAR assessment (section) that they complete. Questions are weighted for difficulty; higher level questions receive more weight than lower level questions. Your child's scale score will range from 0 to 1400. This scale is consistent across all grade levels. As such, your child's performance on this test can be tracked from one year to the next. In addition, norm-referenced scores will be provided indicating how your child performed in comparison to other test-takers of the same grade.
Your child's school or test administrator may choose to produce a variety of additional reports that include information on your child's performance on specific strands and norm-references based on your child's class, school, or district.
You may request an additional parent report from your child's school. In addition to the scaled score, the parent report provides parents with a qualitative analysis of the child's performance and minimal support recommendations.
What do my child's STAR scores mean?
Renaissance Learning reminds parents that, "As with any assessment, many factors can affect your child's scores. It is important to understand that these scores provide only one picture of how your child is doing in school." The STAR Test is a very short assessment designed to give educators and parents a general idea of how a student is performing in mathematics and/or reading. Curriculum decisions should not be based solely on STAR scores; however, performance on the STAR test may indicate a need for further testing to determine if a child is in need of remedial or gifted services.
What is the WISC-V?
The Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children – Fifth Edition, or WISC-V, is an individually administered intelligence test, or IQ test, designed for children between the ages of 6 and 16. In total, the test only takes about an hour to administer; however, children may take the WISC-V as a part of a more comprehensive neuro-psychological evaluation which may take several hours.
Education has the power to illicit change – to shape the minds of the next generation – to lay the foundation for progress and success. Parents entrust educators to aid in the rearing of their children. However, our education system often fails to recognize its place in the long-term development of children and settles for simply attempting to upload information into students’ brains without regard as to its value or usefulness. We must take advantage of the childhood years – the years of which a child’s brain is still changing --- the years in which a child’s moral compass is steered. We must not simply teach our children fact-based lessons. We must also teach them how to think and how to learn.
While I firmly believe that admissions requirements and qualification criteria must be relevant to the program for which they are assigned, I also believe that we must give students every opportunity to reach their fullest potential. An accelerated math program that effectively allows students to skip a year or more of math must ensure that the students in the program have the necessary background information, but this same requirement means that parents must seek out additional education opportunities for their children to ensure admittance into these programs.