In April each year, RMCA students in 2nd to 8th grades take the Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition (Stanford 10). Other than sharpening some No. 2 pencils and taking a brief practice test in grades 2-4, we do not do anything “special” to prepare our students for this week of standardized testing. That is on purpose. We want the results of this test to be one measure of how our students compare to other students across the nation without changing anything that we would normally do. In other words, we do not “teach to the test.” Yet we are confident in the results we are able to report about our students’ success because we are confident in the quality of the test.
The results from a well-designed standardized test, such as the Stanford 10, provide RMCA with information that helps us measure academic success. We chose the Stanford 10 in particular because it is one of the oldest, most reliable, and widely used norm-referenced achievement tests. It is used across the country not just by many public schools, but by private and Christian schools as well. Using the same test as schools similar to ours allows us to compare ourselves on a more equivalent basis.
It’s not our intention to boast about these scores. However, we are proud of them because of what they represent: the fruit of the hard work of parents, curriculum planners, teachers, and students. According to our 2008 Stanford report, “The typical student [at RMCA] scored in the upper range for the grade, which means that group performance was Above Average.” This statement was true for every grade level that took the test! The actual data (below) illustrates just that. Our students consistently scored significantly higher than national averages and also better than other ACSI Christian school students that took the test.
In our classical school, we would expect our students to score well in reading and vocabulary, and they do. On average, RMCA students consistently score in the top 20% nationally. Our math scores are equally impressive. By the time students reach 6th grade, they are scoring in the top 10% nationally.
Test results can be helpful in objectively measuring how our students are performing. But no important conclusion about a school should ever be based on the results of a single test.
To accurately evaluate an individual student, or a whole school, test scores should be considered as one valuable source of information. We hope this information, in conjunction with what you observe on a day-to-day basis, will give you further confidence in the investment you are making in your children.
The Stanford test scores above are reported as percentiles. A percentile indicates the relative standing of a student (or group) in comparison with other students in the same grade norm group who took the test at a comparable time.
The Bible Assessment scores above are reported as the percentage of students in a grade level who scored proficient or above.
*ACSI: Association of Christian Schools International