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DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs

PublicAffairs@pac.dodea.edu

For Immediate Release — March 6, 2008 | Pacific
Charles Steitz: Public Affairs Officer | DSN: 644-5657

TORII STATION, OKINAWA , JAPAN — March 6, 2008 — From March 10-21, most DoDDS-Pacific/DDESS-Guam students in Grades 3-11 will be taking the TerraNova, Second Edition, Multiple Assessments exam. This is a norm-referenced national standardized achievement test and an important part of the DoDEA System Wide Assessment Program. This assessment compares students’ scores to scores from a “norm group”. The norm group for TerraNova is a national sample of students representing all gender, racial, economic, and geographic groups. The test measures achievement levels in the subject areas of reading, language arts, math, science and social studies. The test is produced by CTB/McGraw-Hill.

System wide assessments such as the TerraNova provide a vital source of information for decision-makers concerning programs and services. Standardized achievement tests are used to provide consistent, accurate, and objective information about students’ achievement in various areas of the curriculum. Standardized means that these tests are always administered with the same directions, the same time limits, and the same scoring criteria, with the goal of ensuring fairness for all students.

One of the purposes of the assessment program is to provide DoDEA educators and parents with information about our students so that better instructional decisions can be made. When used in conjunction with other measures, such as classroom observation and teacher-made tests, a standardized achievement test can provide valuable information about the progress of individuals and groups and the effectiveness of educational programs.

Some suggestions to help prepare students for the test are:

BEFORE:
Encourage children to:
Get plenty of rest
Set their alarm clock so they won’t be rushed in the morning
Eat a healthy breakfast
Get to school on time
Do their very best!

AFTER:
Communicate with children after school each day.
Listen to their frustrations, worries and concerns.
Remind them that they should feel satisfied if they gave their best.
Let them know you will never give up on them regardless of the results!
Plan some fun activities that are light and relaxing.

Parents should try not to schedule any appointments (medical, dental, etc.) during the morning hours of the test week, as this period is used for testing. It is a good idea to keep most family routines /structures intact during this time. It is also helpful to eliminate late evening excursions with the family.

Last year approximately 14,500 students took the exam. In the Pacific, the scores range from 9-25 points above the national average. “These results represent the success of our students but only tell part of the story. I wish to recognize our administrators, teachers, parents, and military commands for their on-going support and commitment to our schools and most importantly to the students who walk through our doors every day in search of new challenges and opportunities,” explained Dr. Nancy Bresell, Director, DoDDS-Pacific/DDESS-Guam.

Results from the Spring 2007 test and scores from all DoDEA schools can be found on the DoDEA website at www.dodea.edu.