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standardized tests



This is the first year my first grade gave the Terra Nova tests. I was shocked to learn that I will give the exact same test next year. They don't change a thing. I practically have the test memorized as to what my kids should have learned this year. Is this fair? So many teachers have been fired or put under question in my area for teaching to the test or what have you. I don't feel right knowing whats on it. Now I feel the test results will be inflated with teachers knowing whats on them.


Senior Member

Hello. I'm not sure about the rules regarding the Terra Novas specifically, but generally teachers are not supposed to look at the standardized tests their students are taking. In my state, tests have little shapes on each page so that the teachers can circulate around the room making sure that every student is working in the correct section of the test without the teacher actually having to look at the test questions themselves (for ex., suppose every book and answer sheet in the math section should have a circle on it- the teachers just glance to check that there is a circle on everybody's pages, without ever looking at a single math problem). When we gave the Terra Novas, we followed the same idea- that we can't look at the questions. The exception is special ed. teachers, because we are allowed to read the questions to the students. But we are never allowed to discuss what we've seen (with colleagues or with students) after the test is over. And then we're supposed to somehow wipe our memories clear and not remember anything when planning lessons for the next year. :confused: That's the weird part, like you've noticed!

Bonnie gr. 2

Full Member
Terra Novas

I used to give them in second and third grade. Years ago I gave the CATS in first grade. They don't change from year to year. At the lower levels, teachers have to see them because a lot of the test is dictated. I would have a general idea what was on them but I honestly couldn't remember all of the questions. Just general areas and types of questions. But that isn't really a problem since you can buy test prep material that also included the types of questions and the general areas involved.