Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Standards of Learning, Standards of Testing, And NonStandard Children

I have Joey's SOL scores. As far as i am concerned, a standardized test is just another instrument of evaluation, intended to give us information about my child. Whenever Joey is evaluated, there are questions I need answered about the tools used to evaluated him, so I can see what the test is telling me about him. What useful information have I gained from this instrument? What is it telling me about Joey and his development? What can be done to help him?

What I have learned from Joey's SOL scores is... he is autistic.

Well, I already knew that, thanks. there is nothing more to be learned here, as far as i can see. What good is that?

For one, the scores don't match abilities we know he has. Nor do they match the reports I am currently getting from school about his abilities and knowledge. What good is an evaluation that tells me absolutely nothing? In fact, it lies to me about what my child can do? Did I learn he has difficulty answering questions? I knew that already.

People want data, but I am not sure people understand what data is or what to do with it. Standardized tests provide data, but is it useful data? Useful for whom? Is it properly analyzed? Or will these scores simply be placed in a column as a negative against my son's school, and against my son? What does this data do to help anyone? Or know anything about... anything?

I am going to be scanning and sending this report to Joey's case manager, so tends to have a much better idea about what this data means, and how it can be used to help my Joey. I'll keep you posted as I keep thinking about standardization, and testing, and data. And Joey.