There is much debate surrounding state assessments in both Virginia (the Standards of Learning assessments, commonly known as SOL’s) and Tennessee (The TN Ready assessments). Some of your friends in public schools in either state and many others may be sharing their concerns about stressed out kiddos, anxious teachers, weeks spent studying review guides and completing released tests as homework, after school programs to ensure readiness for the test or even letters coming home advising that students may have to repeat a grade or subject if the state benchmark is not met on these tests.
At Sullins these things sound foreign - and for good reason. Our school sets high standards for academic excellence for students and uses authentic assessments to measure understanding of the curriculum. We choose to take the ERB (Educational Records Bureau) to gain insight into how our students are doing compared to students in other independent schools around the country. The data we receive helps support curriculum and guide instruction. It gives our school a clear picture of both our areas of strength and areas for improvement. This test is not one you can “teach to”- it is a snapshot of a students’ progress that is taken into account with many others to give the school a wealth of information that helps shape the teaching and learning your student receives. But the ERB is not the focal point of our teaching nor does it guide or direct our curriculum and instruction.
Hopefully one of the reasons you chose an independent school as a parent was because you wanted a more personalized learning experience for your child where teachers and administrators are not tied to a state mandated test. So while schools around the country countdown the days to the test and hold testing pep rallies, your kiddo was preparing for a... » read more