Kid's Academic Progress: 5 Things Parents Need to Know As a New School Year Begins by Tales from Classroom

Kid's Academic Progress: 5 Things Parents Need to Know As a New School Year Begins

If I had a dollar for every time a concerned parent came to me with worries that their child was not “where they were supposed to be” in their child’s academic progress, I would have many dollars. The testing craze coupled with the obsession of quantifying learning have been contributing factors to this anxiety. To help alleviate some of that concern, here are five things you need to know about your child’s academic progress:

  • Standardized test scores are extremely limited. They only show us a small piece of what kids know and assess very basic skills and lower-level processing. We have much more on this at
  • Look at authentic assessments. These are assessments that are more like real-world products (e.g. using content to make a building, create an advertisement). These force kids to apply knowledge in an authentic way.
  • Standardization is a myth. Pick up any psychology text and you will quickly learn that kids develop in different ways at different times. To expect them to all be at the same place at the same place at the same time flies in the face of what we know about human development. Watch the video that explains this concept more.
  • Look at all intelligences. We wrote about this in a previous tip. Most formal tests privilege one or two types of intelligences. There are many ways of being smart that are not measured. 
  • Remember that academic learning is one part of developing a child. Let’s not forget the importance of developing caring, thoughtful, empathetic people who are creative, critical thinkers and problem solvers who will engage in a democratic society. 

By Bradley Conrad, Ph.D., Capital University 

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Elisa Schmitz
Excellent points, Tales from Classroom ! Tales from the Classroom The stress of these tests is so intense. Appreciate this great tip!

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