Ted Spear, Ph.D., Head of School
As indicated at the School Orientation on Tuesday, September 10th, 2013, the school will be administering a “!00 Questions Test” to all students on Wednesday, September 18th. There will be 10 questions for each of the following sections:
Math, Art, Science, Grammar, English, Reasoning & Philosophy, Humanities, History Timeline, French and Common Knowledge
The purpose of creating and administering the test at this time is to:
- have the teachers identify a bare minimum of “baseline literacy” or “baseline competency” questions that they think their students should know, or be able to do, by the end of the year
- have the students get a preview of baseline literacy\competency elements of the courses, with a view to (perhaps) motivate them to acquire this literacy\competency over the year
- in some cases, actually begin instruction by way of the very structure of the question
- get an initial indication of each student’s baseline literacy\competency at the beginning of the year, with a view to assessing growth at the end of the year.
A few things need to be emphasized here:
- We expect the students to do “poorly” on these tests, as they have not, for the most part, been exposed to the concepts and skills contained therein. (We will counsel the students about this.)
- This is not meant to be a test of individual student achievement. It is, instead, meant to be a mechanism for us as a school to first to declare essential elements, and then to determine if students are, in fact, learning at least the basic elements of what we want them to learn.
- If a student does particularly well on this test, or a portion of the test, this will not be used to adjust his or her individual program. The questions are so few, and limited, that they will not provide a strong enough basis for any program change.
- Subject to a successful and defensible launch, we expect to administer this same test again in May.
We will monitor this process carefully, with a view to making changes as needed.