The role of standardized testing in the school system is to help make decisions of selection, placement, evaluation, and diagnosis. The school needs a comprehensive testing program to assess a student's interests, aptitudes, and achievements. The standardized tests best suited to gauge the information needed in an objective manner must have validity, reliability, and normative data in order to arrive at non-judgmental decisions.
While testing plays a major role in making decisions, other factors are considered to complete the evaluation process as well. Input from teachers, counselors, and parents is a necessity in the testing program.
Purposes of Testing Program
The purposes of the district-wide testing program are to facilitate and provide information for the following:
Student Achievement - to produce information about relative achievement that parents, students, and teachers have a baseline against which to monitor academic progress. Within the limitations of group testing instruments, the information should be useful to serve as a validation device for other measures of student progress.
Student Counseling - to serve as a tool in counseling and guidance of students for further direction and for specific academic placement.
Instructional Change - to provide data which will assist in preparing recommendation for instructional program changes to help teacher with instructional decisions, to help professional staff formulate and recommend instructional policy, and to help the Board of Education adopt instructional policy.
School and District Assessment - to provide indicators as to how well the district is moving toward achieving established goals.