What Standardized Testing Does MCA Offer?
Millennium Charter Academy utilizes two types of assessments: achievement and aptitude. Each looks at a different aspect of cognitive development. All achievement tests are created from content specific material, such as reading and math, and they measure knowledge and skills explicitly taught in schools. Aptitude tests, on the other hand, evaluate reasoning skills that are developed indirectly through various life experiences.
Under achievement tests, MCA administers the North Carolina End of Grade Test, commonly known as the EOG, and certain North Carolina End of Course Tests (EOC). The EOG is derived from the NC Standard Course of Study and assesses reading and math. EOCs are given for dialectic school classes (grades 6-8) that receive high school credit, such as Algebra I. High school students take EOCs in Algebra I, biology and English II. In addition, the PreACT and the ACT are administered to sophomores and juniors respectively. The SAT is scheduled by individuals.
The State mandates that the EOG be given within the last three weeks of school. This information, according to state guidelines, is used to help determine promotion and retention, and to improve the instruction during the upcoming school year.
Regarding aptitude testing, Millennium Charter Academy administers the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), as needed. As stated above, this measures reasoning abilities and is not an indicator of innate intelligence.
What Is the Value of Testing?
Achievement and ability tests can help paint a picture of the academic progress of individual students and the school itself. All tests, though important in and of themselves, gain more meaning when compared with subsequent testing. Looking at one frame in a comic strip makes some sense, but seeing the strip in its entirety provides a context and a better understanding. Imagine your best – or worst- snapshot. Remember the one that caught you with some wild contorted face. Or maybe that glamour shot that made you think, “Now that is the way I want to be remembered!” Neither one of these is inaccurate, but with additional photos, a truer picture could be developed. All test scores are best understood in the broader context of experience.
The State of North Carolina holds the Academy accountable to its testing program. Although we fare well in state tests, we do not teach to the test. We believe that our rich curriculum naturally leads to solid test performance, so we continue engaging, robust instruction throughout the year, with a brief review of test-taking strategies as needed.