How do educators know a student is learning? Authentic assessments used by skilled educators can be an important way to measure and celebrate learning.
It is important that students are able to demonstrate not only that they have acquired knowledge, but can apply it in their thinking and problem solving. There are many subjective and objective ways to assess knowledge and skills. Using standardized tests as a part of the overall assessment protocol ensures that a school is making sure that its students and its curriculum are meeting or exceeding the academic standards of other schools throughout the country with whom they compare themselves.
At St. Paul we have developed a testing protocol with the knowledge that our students will encounter many high-stakes tests throughout their academic careers. In Junior Kindergarten through 2nd grade we use the Children's Progress Assessment (CPAA) developed by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). In 3rd through 6th grade we use the Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP4), also developed by the ERB, as well as the ERB's Writing Assessment Program (WrAP). In addition, we use the Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test (OLSAT) in 3rd and 5th grade.