As a publicly funded school, DMS participates in the required standardized testing, but see it as only one facet of assessing a student’s development. The focus of those tests is limited to academics, only one aspect of a child’s development. Nevertheless, these tests can be a useful tool to the school, when viewed in light of our multi-faceted approach to assessment. We will never strive to “boost” results by “teaching to the test” as our curriculum prepares children sufficiently to “succeed.”
Currently, students in grades 3 through high school are being tested per Arizona Department of Education guidelines. In addition, DMS has chosen Galileo testing to supplement our assessments and familiarize students with testing routines.
The message being conveyed to students in our classrooms is that the purpose of the testing is to help the teacher know what the class needs to work on. The students simply need to relax and do their best. Our expectation is that the students will approach their experience of standardized testing in the same joyful, confident way that they approach any other aspect of their school life. As a parent, we ask that you foster this attitude as well.
If you have any questions about your child’s standardized test scores, please speak with his or her class teacher or the Director of Curriculum & Instruction.
DMS meets the core state educational standards through our developmentally sound, experiential approach, bringing educational experiences and content in an age-appropriate manner. We participate in the state-required standardized testing, but see it as only one facet of assessing a student’s development. We continually assess our program to assure that it best meets the needs of students, and that it is in harmony with both state standards and what is age appropriate. Our curriculum should prepare children sufficiently without “teaching to the test.”
Attorney General Letter
ADE has asked the Attorney General’s office to update opinion regarding parental requests to opt-out of state-mandated testing. The updated opinion letter is posted on the Assessment Section’s Technical and Legal Resources webpage and is linked here. This letter states quite clearly that there is no basis in Arizona law that gives parents the right to have their public school children fail to participate in AzMERIT testing.