Standardized Testing at The Meher Schools

As you know, there has been and continues to be a great deal of focus in California, and in the country in general, on Standardized Testing. At The Meher Schools, we like to think that we have a healthy and balanced perspective about the importance of these tests and the information that standardized tests give to teachers and parents.

First, we have given our students standardized tests continuously since 1986. These tests are not new to us. Second, we do not "teach to the test." This means that we can follow an academic curriculum that is focused on learning and not on getting correct answers by filling in the bubbles. Our students, overall, do exceptionally well on these tests—not because we emphasize the tests, but because our curriculum supports academic learning. There is nothing mysterious about that! Of greatest importance is that our teachers are committed to helping each student learn.

We begin testing in the spring of first grade. From second grade through fifth grade we administer the tests in the fall and spring. Our goal is to make students comfortable with the testing process and to give them practice in taking the tests without sacrificing our rich curriculum and teaching methods. We want children to relax and simply try their best, just as they would in any situation. We do not want them to be nervous, anxious, or think that these tests are more important than they really are.

What do the tests tell us?

Standards themselves are not a bad thing. They help us to help each child by ensuring that they be exposed to and have opportunities to practice necessary skills. However, each child needs to have his or her gifts acknowledged and nurtured and each child will achieve the standards at his or her own pace and own time.

Please do not place undue emphasis on these tests. They are just a part of a picture of your child's work and achievement. Celebrate his or her successes in all areas!