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Testing Ability & Achievement Gives Insight into the Whole Child

Anna Houseman
Written By Anna Houseman
On Sep 22, 2022
3 minute read

Teacher’s View: Testing Ability & Achievement Gives Insight into the Whole Child


Houseman: If a child does well on an ability test but less so on an achievement exam, the gap between potential and performance can inform instruction

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September 21, 2022 Achievement tests are necessary for evaluating student mastery and growth. Yet achievement data as the sole determinant of student success can unintentionally leave some children behind. 

As a former elementary school teacher, I saw firsthand the impact of a focus on achievement assessments. From day one of the school year, everything revolved around helping students pass the end-of-year exams. Yet, something felt off. I spent more time teaching test-taking strategies than I did understanding my students’ strengths and interests. And when I did feel that certain children were not performing up to their potential, I had no data to back it up.

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