How do educators know a student is learning? Authentic assessments used by skilled educators are the tools necessary to measure and celebrate learning.
It is important for assessments to be both objective and subjective. It is also important that children are able to demonstrate their learning in a variety of arenas to demonstrate that they have not only acquired knowledge, but can apply it in their thinking and problem solving. The use of standardized tests as a part of the assessment protocol used by a school ensures that that school is making sure that it's students and its curriculum are meeting academic standards established by other schools throughout the country with whom they compare themselves.
At St. Paul we have developed a testing protocol with a line of sight keeping in mind those high-stakes tests that students will encounter later in 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 2nd through 6th grade, also developed by the ERB we use the Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP4), adding the Writing Assessment Program (WrAP) for 3rd - 6th grade. In addition we use the Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test (OLSAT) in 3rd and 5th grade.