Benchmark tests

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Aussiegirl, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jun 15, 2010

    I am curious what other districts/states are doing as far as benchmark tests, so I have several questions below.

    1. Are you required to give benchmark tests during the year?
    2. How often do you give them?
    3. Do you give a grade based on the % correct, on effort, or not at all?
    4. Do they cover all material you are supposed to cover over the year, or only cover what you have already taught?
    5. Do you administer the same exact test multiple times during the year, or do you use different tests each time that cover the same material?
    6. What do you use for benchmark testing? (released state exam items, textbook benchmark tests, other?)
    7. Do all teachers for your grade and subject use the exact same benchmark tests?
    8. Who reviews the results besides you, and what do they do with those results?
     
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  3. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jun 15, 2010



    This is what we do.
     
  4. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Jun 15, 2010

    You can tell how much I appreciate the waste of time provided by my district!:dizzy:
     
  5. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2010

    We use Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Kits. They contain leveled readers from A to N (primary) and M to Z (intermediate) and a book discussion to measure reading level, fluency and comprehension. Absolute minimum is 2x/ year, but I think we did 3x this year. If we have students we are struggling with, we can do it more often or ask our literacy coach to administer it and anaylize it.
    It is exactly tied to our instruction so I think it is helpful.
    3rd/4th grade also give quarterly tests that resemble the state tests.
     
  6. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jun 16, 2010

    My answers are in red:

     
  7. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jun 16, 2010

    Thanks for your replies. It is interesting how we are all doing something different. I have difficulty with the idea of giving a grade for a benchmark when I know the test covers things I haven't directly instructed or reviewed yet.

    I am currently involved with a committee of teachers from the county to create LA benchmark tests for the county middle schools to use. We were all doing something different which ranged from using released test items to making our own. Some tested only what had been covered to the point of the test and others tested all that was to be covered for the year.

    What we finally settled on was going through the test bank that came with our text book and choosing the questions we thought were best as far as seeing if the children could apply their knowledge instead of just showing that they could remember definitions.

    We're testing at least two times next year, and all the middle school LA teachers will be using the same tests at the same time. At least it is the teachers who came to a consensus and created the tests instead of central office.

    My issue with using released state test items is that I wonder if the items were released because they were considered too hard/easy for that year. I don't know if we can even find out the rationale for releasing some items and not others.

    One thing I am very happy about is that we are not instituting a county-wide pacing guide for LA. It allows us more freedom while we still cover, at minimum, the state standards.
     
  8. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    Jun 16, 2010

    My replies are in blue.

     
  9. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jun 16, 2010

    Me, too.
     

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