Nationally Standardized Achievement Tests for Colorado Homeschoolers
In Colorado, homeschoolers and unschoolers have two choices to determine our child’s academic progress:
1. Give your child a Nationally Standardized Achievement Test.
2: Have your child Evaluated.
The Colorado Home School Statute requires homeschooled children to comply with Option 1 or 2 above, sometime during the odd grade levels (3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th). The tests can be given at any time throughout the year, but obviously (and logically), most parents don’t do either one until toward the end of their homeschool year.
What Are Nationally Standardized Achievement Tests?
Excerpted from The Colorado Homeschool Law In A Nutshell: They’re pretty much what you think they are: a booklet, a No. 2 pencil, don’t start until the instructor says so, fill in the little circles to indicate your answer.
Many of the leading tests were never intended to measure teaching OR learning.
What Do Tests Tell Us?
Each test has different types of scores. Here’s how to understand the results.
Students Against Testing
SAT was created to be a strong force against the score-obsessed education machine known as standardized testing. Here’s 10 compelling reasons to oppose such tests.
What’s A Test? Why Unschoolers Test Scores Prove Nothing About Method
Humans aren’t born with the capacity for abstract thinking. Rather, we grow into it, somewhere around the ages of 7–10. Until children have that ability, then, memorizing facts to spit back on tests is just that, an exercise in memorization. But please don’t call it learning.
Achievement Test Providers
Bob Jones University Press
Offering the Stanford Achievement Test and the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills). These tests may only be adminstered by pre-approved tester.
Bayside School Services
My personal favorite. Homeschool veterans Donny and Sandy Ball offer the 1970 version of the CAT (because academic standards were higher then), plus the newer CAT/6 TerraNova2. Their testings services are available 12 months of the year. (Note: This is unusual because not all testing companies allow you to test year-round. Instead they stick to specific ‘testing seasons’.)
C.H.E.S.S (Colorado Heritage Education School System)
Provides standardized testing for Colorado home school families, using the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) for grades 3 through 8 and the Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED) for grades 9 through 12. Group testing is offered annually in three locations: Greeley, Fort Collins, and Loveland. Private test sessions are available year round by appointment.
Christian Liberty Press
Provides both paper and online versions of the 1970 CAT (California Achievement Test). They too, use the older 1970 version of this nationally normed achievement test, because the newer editions reflect a lower academic standard.
Thurber’s Educational Assessments
Providing the CAT/5 (California Achievement Test, 5th Edition, using 1991 Norms), TerraNova 1 (CTBS, using 2005 Norms), and TerraNova 2 (CAT/6, using 2005 Norms). They also have Practice Tests.
Hewitt Homeschooling PASS Test
Developed specifically for homeschoolers, P.A.S.S. (Personalized Achievement Summary System) is an untimed, low-stress achievement test for homeschoolers in grades 3-8 only. PASS is for your information only; it is not accepted by the state of Colorado as a nationally standardized achievement test. Six other states have “officially approved” it for purposes of state reporting, but Colorado is not one of them.