High Stakes Testing Strategies for the Virtual School, Part 2 - Tech Learning

High Stakes Testing Strategies for the Virtual School, Part 2

Strategy Set 2: Sensible Test Prep from Thomas Herdtner Director, Florida Connections Academy Public virtual school students are required to participate in their state’s high stakes standardized test program like any other public school students. At Florida Connections Academy, we have developed a number of
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

Strategy Set 2: Sensible Test Prep

from Thomas Herdtner
Director, Florida Connections Academy

Public virtual school students are required to participate in their state’s high stakes standardized test program like any other public school students. At Florida Connections Academy, we have developed a number of strategies to help prepare our students for the tests. Previously, we looked at the importance of the standards. In this installment, we’ll focus on test preparation

  • Provide test preparation materials and activities that help virtual school students become more comfortable and familiar with the formatting of the high stakes test. There are many “test preparation†materials produced by a variety of publishers. Many of these materials can be found by doing a search of the web. You can even find programs that are aligned with a particular state’s standards and high stakes test. While these programs are excellent tools to help students prepare for high stakes tests, it is unlikely that the students will be able to actually take the high stakes test on-line or even a computerized version. These just do not yet exist, although some states have tried these on a trial basis. Therefore, it is important that virtual school students have access to paper/pencil versions of test prep materials. This, in itself, presents another logistical problem. Most of the paper/pencil test prep materials are designed for use in a classroom setting under the face-to-face guidance of a certified teacher. In fact, the state department of education often provides the brick and mortar schools with paper/pencil practice tests that go directly to the school districts and are then sent on to each school, with one answer key per classroom. Having virtual students located in many different areas of a state makes it distribution of these practice materials a challenge, but the department of education should still provide the virtual school with access to these materials. They may even be available on the DOE website so families can download and print them out to use at home. There are a few commercial test-prep publishers that do have a self-contained “take-home†version of materials that can be easily used by your virtual school families. A quick check of the websites of various test prep publishers will provide you with the materials available.
  • Test preparation is important, however ... While test preparation materials are useful in helping your virtual school students become more “test sophisticated†regarding the formatting, structure of questions and answer recording procedures for the high stakes test, the real key to success lies in the yearlong presentation of the standards to be tested. Don’t fall into the trap of waiting until the last few weeks before the high stakes test and then present a last minute push to have your virtual school students prepare. The last minute “crash†writing and math clubs, and “pre-test pep rallies†so common in traditional brick and mortar schools, in reality, create additional test stress and fear among students and teachers. Build test preparation activities into the curriculum so that it becomes a natural part of the learning experience for your virtual school students and not something to be feared each year.

Featured

Related

High Stakes Testing Strategies for the Virtual School, Part 1

Strategy Set 1: Focus On the Standards from Thomas Herdtner Director, Florida Connections Academy Virtual schools that are publicly funded are more than likely required to have students participate in the state’s high stakes standardized test program. Helping virtual school students prepare for high stakes

High Stakes Testing Strategies for the Virtual School, Part 3

Strategy Set 3: Getting There ... And Using the Results from Thomas Herdtner Director, Florida Connections Academy Like all other public schools, virtual public schools are required to participate in their state’s high stakes standardized testing — but the logistics can be a bit more challenging! At Florida

High Stakes Testing and Assessment

The battle rages over how best to measure student learning. Do highly consequential tests used for decisions about admissions, promotion, or graduation, and high-stakes tests used to evaluate schools and school reform outcomes, result in increased student achievement? Some critics claim that these tests hold students

A Way to Help Struggling Seniors Pass High-Stakes Tests

from Educators' eZine Where we live CAHSEE rules! CAHSEE stands for California High School Exit Examination, a high-stakes test which all public school students must pass as one part of the requirements to receive a high school diploma. The purpose of the CAHSEE is to improve student achievement in high school and

High Stakes for Educators

High stakes tests for students have garnered a very noisy percentage of the dialogue around K-12 education issues in recent years, but surprisingly, when it comes to high stakes issues for educators, things have been pretty quiet. This month's cover feature "Cyber Security: A Survival Guide," by Chris Seiberling, aims