STEP Testing Achievement Scores:
NEW VISTAS' ACHIEVEMENT TESTING PROGRAM
People have often asked why we give STEP Test (Sequential Test of Educational Progress) at New Vistas. We feel confident that the STEP Tests meet the specific purposes for standardized test which identifies each child's specific strengths and weaknesses in the areas of math and reading. With all the choices available to us, we have chosen to administer the STEP test to our students for several reasons.
The first is that it allows us to give the appropriate level test to each child regardless of their grade level. Second, the reading and math portions are administered separately allowing us to choose the appropriate level of test in each subject. Students' test levels depend upon their performance on the previous spring and fall tests as well as their performance in class during the school year. For example, in a group of 18 second-graders at New Vistas, four students might take the test designed for second-grade level reading; eight the test designed for third-grade level reading; and six students might take the test designed for fourth- through sixth-grade level. The numbers and levels might be very different in math depending upon students' abilities and needs. It is important for us to find the appropriate academic testing level for each and every student at our school.
Tests are administered twice each year; fall and spring. Typically in the fall, students are tested in the third week of school. The purpose for fall testing is to determine: 1) amount of growth or loss during the summer and 2) to provide the teachers with diagnostic information that will assist them with instruction. An error analysis is completed for each child which indicates the areas of curriculum already mastered and the areas that have not yet been taught. This helps the teachers know better how to place their students in the appropriate instructional groups, especially for math.
In the spring, students are tested in early April. The results of these tests provide parents and New Vistas' staff with the amount of growth a child has made from the previous spring to the current year. This information assists staff when placing students in the next grade level.
Please feel free to call New Vistas for more specific information about our testing program.