Homeschooling in Alaska

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 Testing Issues in the Homeschool
 Testing Services, Suppliers, & Resources

Testing Issues in the Homeschool Back to Top
ACT vs SAT: Key differences between the ACT and SAT
ACT vs SAT: which test is a better fit for your student? Students may take whichever test they prefer (assuming there are available testing locations for both tests). If you’re not sure which test your child would prefer, consider the key differences between the ACT and SAT. Some students find that the ACT caters to their strengths more so than the SAT, and vice versa. Need a quick side-by-side comparison of the tests? Check out this ACT vs SAT Comparison Chart.
Home-Schooled Students and College Board Standardized Testing
A letter from Peter Negroni, Vice President, Teaching and Learning, of the College Board, addressing the procedure for students to take the PSAT/NMSQT, AP, or any other secure College Board tests.
It's Time for the PSAT/NMSQT
David and Laurie Callihan
Although this article has some outdated date information in it, it is a good discussion of the use of the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) for homeschoolers, especially those who are interested in qualifying for certain scholarships.
Students Against Testing
This website offers an alternative look at standardized testing. Students Against Testing was created to be a strong force against the score-obsessed education machine known as standardized testing. At the same time, SAT also exists as an advocate for bringing positive, creative and real-life learning activities into the schools.
Testing and Assessment: What Do the Tests Tell Us?
Many parents arrive in the world of gifted education with a report full of tests results, supposedly defining their child as "gifted." But more often than not, parents have more questions than answers upon receiving those test results. And just as often, the short answers from the psychologist, the school, the teachers, and other parents do more to confuse than clarify.
Testing in the Schools
John Holt
John Holt's article in which he lists questions that should be asked of school districts' testing policies.
The Case for Authentic Assessment
Grant Wiggins
Assessment is authentic when we directly examine student performance on worthy intellectual tasks. Traditional assessment, by contract, relies on indirect or proxy 'items'--efficient, simplistic substitutes from which we think valid inferences can be made about the student's performance at those valued challenges.
The Evils Of Mandatory Testing
David Weathers
As home schooling grows as a movement, there is increasing politics from anti-home school forces to try to interfere with or legislatively control home schoolers. This has come to include legislative attempts to force home school students to take standardized tests along with public school students. But mandatory testing doesn't work in public schools, and it won't work for home schoolers.
The SAT vs. the ACT: Which to Choose?
Colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. So which should you take? It's all about the numbers. Some students end up scoring substantially higher on the SAT; others do better on the ACT. The Princeton Review Assessment (PRA) is designed to help you determine which test is better fit with your abilities.
What does the SAT measure? Aptitude? Achievement? Anything?
When the first SAT was created, it was named the Scholastic Aptitude Test, signaling that its creators and the education world believed it to be a test of aptitude, or, a student’s ability to perform well in college. Aptitude tests supposedly measure talents that indicate possible achievement in the future, while achievement tests supposedly reveal how much someone has learned in the past. All these years later, we know the test never really did measure anybody’s aptitude to do well in college.
What’s a Test? Why Unschoolers Test Scores Prove Nothing about Method
Linda Dobson
Most of us are familiar with the school perspective as so many of us have first-hand experience with it. It goes something like this: To learn, one must have a teacher dole out information. Your assignment as student, if you choose to accept it, is to work very hard to retain the information provided so you can score well on tests. When you score well on tests, you will be able to tack on four additional years of schooling by going to college. The better your test scores, the better the college you can attend. “Success” will ultimately be achieved when you getting a good job so you can make as much money as possible. Less familiar is the unschoolers perspective which goes something like this: “I would be against trying to cram knowledge into the heads of children even if we could agree on what knowledge to cram and could be sure that it would not go out of date, even if we could be sure that, once crammed in, it would stay in. Even then, I would trust the child to direct his own learning . For it seems to me a fact that, in our struggle to make sense out of life, the things we most need to learn are the things we most want to learn. ”

Testing Services, Suppliers, & Resources Back to Top
Educational Testing Services (ETS)
Educational Testing Services (ETS) is an organization that provides a range of products and services, including research, test administration, test scoring, and more. This organization develops and administers AP, GRE, and SAT tests, among others.
FairTest (The National Center for Fair & Open Testing)
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial. They place special emphasis on eliminating the racial, class, gender, and cultural barriers to equal opportunity posed by standardized tests, and preventing their damage to the quality of education. Based on Goals and Principles, they provide information, technical assistance and advocacy on a broad range of testing concerns, focusing on three areas: K-12, university admissions, and employment tests. FairTest publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Examiner, plus a full catalog of materials on both K- 12 and university testing to aid teachers, administrators, students, parents and researchers. They also have numerous fact sheets available on standardized testing and alternative assessment.
Family Learning Organization Testing Services
Family Learning Organization offers standardized tests for homeschooling families. Through their Educational Assessment & Testing Service, tests may be obtained by parents to administer to their homeschooled children. Their services include standardized achievement tests (California Achievement Test, Fifth Edition), review of parent-administered assessments by a certified teacher, toll-free telephone answers to your questions about administering tests and interpreting results, and computerized score printouts for tests including Percentile Rankings, Grade Equivalencies, Stanine Scores and Scaled Scores, where applicable.
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources/PASS Test
The PASS Test was developed specifically for home schoolers. It has certain similarities to other achievement tests in that it estimates student achievement in the subjects of reading, language, and math. But is has important differences. It introduces four major improvements over most achievement tests presently available. First, it was designed for parents to administer at home. This can greatly reduce the stress level of testing. Second, it is untimed, which helps students to relax. Third, the student's approximate achievement level within his or her grade is initially identified by use of a brief accompanying placement test. This assigns each child to a test level where he or she is more likely to succeed, and it also allows for shorter tests. Finally, testing results show overall achievement as well as performance in each subject. The test is standardized and children's scores are compared with both national and home-schooling populations. This does not mean that the test is nationally normed, but that the scores are equated to those of public school students taking one of the nationally-normed tests. The states of Alaska, New York, and North Carolina have officially approved the PASS Test for purposes of state reporting. In other states which require testing, you should check with your local school district to make sure it meets their requirements.
Seton Home Study School Testing Services
Seton offers standardized testing for homeschoolers. They featuring the CAT-E Survey tests, which are inexpensive, can be administered in your home, and have a very quick turn around.
The Princeton Review
Search for schools and careers, find test preparation courses, get information on scholarships, and more.
Thurber's Educational Assessments
Offering the California Achievement Test (C.A.T./5), specifically the C.A.T./5 Complete Battery and the C.A.T./5 Survey. They also offer TerraNova CTBS and TerraNova 2 (CAT/6) for homeschools, private schools, or organized groups. Test results are sent directly to you, helping you understand your student’s academic standing.
Triangle Education Assessments
Triangle Education Assessments offers the Iowa Tests and Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement.


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