Monday, April 9, 2012

Time to Test

This week my son will have standardized testing that will put him on a path for the rest of his elementary years.

I've known about this testing since he was 5.

In the fall he had his first standardized test ever. This test was called the Cogat. Our district uses this test in the fall to (mostly) determine those kids who would benefit from honors math in the 3rd grade.

Honestly? I sort of laughed at it. I know that my son tends to test well. I also know he doesn't have any real issues picking up math concepts. I was concerned about the work that he had been bringing home. It certainly did not indicate honors math for his future.

He's not the type of smart kid who gets 100% on everything. He is not a perfectionist. He is not grade motivated. Actually, it's not uncommon for him to say "You know it doesn't matter if I get an F on this right?"

Huh. That attitude is fun to parent.

It's not that he doesn't totally care. He picks and chooses beforehand if it is important to him or not. If it's not? Forget it.

But he did test well. He then passed the next two levels of testing to get into honors math. It's been a good fit for him. That is not to say it's been easy. It has not. Dudes, 3rd grade honors math? Hard.

"Are you smarter than your 3rd grade honors math student?"


So that brings us to this weeks standardized testing. Two different tests including the Cogat (again) and the ITBS. I have no idea what the 2nd test is all about.

Since he's already in honors math, this round of testing will determine honors English that starts in 4th grade.
(It also determines if he gets into the districts “official” gifted program but I’m not even thinking about that because I think his odds are slim.)

This should be a no brainer for him. Even more so than the math, but here's the deal. For whatever reason he tends to test worse for English related testing than math. And it's maddening.

Here, a kid who taught himself to read by the age of 3 tests lower in English.

Makes no sense, I tell you.

I'm not trying to be like "Oh, my kid is so smart and should test well in everything” I’m not. But if you were to know my kid, you would know that his communication skills and vocabulary are years beyond his age.

I'm saying that he should test higher in English than Math. But he doesn't.

I think with math, he actually is forced to slow down and think. With the English stuff, he just plows right through it as quick as he can and doesn't really absorb the content. I'm just guessing. I know he likes to brag to me how quick he finishes testing. So there's that.

I guess we'll see what happens. I don't place any pressure on him. I do let him know that the testing will determine if he gets into other programs like honors math but that they don't matter as far as anything else. Which is mostly true.

In the meantime, I'll be over here eating Easter Kit Kats.

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