Each spring, The Willow School administers the Iowa Test of Basic Skills to all of our students in grades 1-8. Willow is not able to give the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test commonly known as the FCAT to its students because Willow is a private school.
The primary reasons for administering the IOWA Test of Basic Skills are:
- To create a baseline from which to measure future student performance
- To allow students the opportunity to hone their test taking skills on these type of exams
- To provide a measurement with which to compare The Willow School curriculum
We do not gear our curriculum or set goals for a particular student according to what is measured by standardized tests. Nor do we measure only gifted students in our school program.
Such tests are a helpful tool in the evaluation of teachers, curriculum and students. At The Willow School the Iowa Test is not a “high stakes exam.” It provides annual practice for our students and enables them to become accustomed to standardized testing without any of the pressure or anxiety typically associated with these forms of tests. It also shows us how many of the students in our school program measure as gifted.
No decisions are made about a student’s progress based solely on these test results.
Because of our rigorous academic program and the support of our families, Willow students generally do very well on these standardized tests and it is as if we provide a gifted school program to all of our students.