While test taking skills are important to learn, we believe that allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge of curriculum material in a wide variety of ways leads to more meaningful and memorable learning. Since different regions of the country use different standardized tests, it would be impossible for Oak Meadow curriculum to cover all the material for tests nationwide in any given grade.
“Teaching to the test”–or using curriculum for test preparation with the primary goal being to get a high score on a standardized test–is not a concept that Oak Meadow supports pedagogically. As professional educators, we question the value of curriculum that is aimed at preparing for a test rather than preparing for life. As a private school funded solely by tuition, Oak Meadow School is free from public funding constraints, which often require standardized testing, and can focus our energies on providing students a meaningful, appropriate education that is based on best practices, not on best test scores.
We respect and honor those parents who would like their children to take standardized tests, and suggest they contact their local school district to see if they can arrange test taking. Most Oak Meadow high school students take college entrance exams, of course, and these are arranged individually through the College Board. It is interesting to note that homeschoolers, many of whom have never taken a standardized test before, tend to score above their public school counterparts on college entrance exams, despite the latter group being regularly exposed to tests and test prep.