Understanding your child’s school test scores
Parent teacher conferences—or sometimes now called a student-led conference—can be overwhelming. The teacher starts by telling you all the great things about your child, but soon gets to the testing and data information. DRA, MAP testing, KPREP, and the good ‘ol report card—so many acronyms, letters and numbers. Before you know it, you’re overwhelmed and know for certain you’re not going to remember any of this by the time you make it home.
I am an elementary teacher and a parent of a kindergartener. My daughter is required to take the Brigance Test, which is used to place students into classrooms and to see if they’re really ready for school. Even as a teacher, I really don’t know exactly what it all means. Thank goodness for my awesome teacher friends who could explain it all, because otherwise it really wouldn’t mean that much to my husband and I.
My goal is to help you decipher what your kids’ school test scores really mean, because as a parent and teacher, I know it really isn’t that easy.
(Pre K, Kindergarten Screener)
The Brigance screener covers a wide range of beginning kindergarten skills such as your child’s name, address, phone number and age. It will score your child’s ability to recognize numbers, letters, left and right, shapes, colors and all sorts of skills that are essential for starting school and or to be learned throughout kindergarten. These skills are the building blocks and basic foundation for your child’s success in the grades to come.
Developmental Reading Assessment aka DRA
The DRA assessment is used by most elementary teachers to check students’ fluency and comprehension throughout the year. The goal is to see the students grow as the year progresses and new reading concepts and strategies are taught.
DRA Reading Levels By Grade
›› Kindergarten: 1-3
›› First Grade: 3-16
›› Second Grade: 18-28
›› Third Grade: 30-38
›› Fourth Grade: 40
›› Fifth Grade: 50
›› Sixth Grade: 60
›› Seventh Grade: 70
(All Grade Levels)
MAP testing is a computer based assessment given three times a year typically in math, reading, and language arts. These scores are used to determine students where interventions and additional supports in the classroom are needed as well as students that are gifted. Students receive a RTI (Response to Intervention) score and percentile score in each subject area tested. Students that often test below the 10% percentile will begin the RTI process. Students in the 50/60th percentile are right around grade level and students higher are usually excelling in that particular subject area. Your child’s teacher will hopefully give you the Family Report, which is a fairly new feature and does a great job explaining what your child’s scores mean. The RTI score is the overall score for a subject based on a Rasch unit (RIT) scale that shows how well your child performed in the subject area. The percentage score indicates the percentage of peers your child scored better than. The percentage is usually easier to understand and the number to determine interventions and gifted students.
(Grade 3 and higher)
KPREP is a computer assessment given at the end of each year and is used to assess not just the students but the school as a whole. These scores are compiled and then each school is given a report card grade. The KPREP scoring works on a 4 point scale, 1 – Novice, 2 – apprentice, 3 – proficient, 4 – distinguished. The goal is for your child to score proficient or distinguished. All students test in reading and math, fourth grade students also test in science and fifth grade students are tested in social studies and on demand writing. Students are then tested in all subject areas from middle school on. The emphasis put on this assessment is by far the highest because schools are scored on this information.