In recent years, the increasingly high stakes attached to norm-referenced reading tests have made it harder to hold onto what we believe about language arts education. Now, Lucy Calkins, Kate Montgomery, and Donna Santman meet us in the true trenches, offering companionship and guidance in the most lonely, complex, and sometimes heartbreaking area of our teaching: preparing students for standardized reading tests.
Written with the intimacy, inspiration, and classroom-based practicality we've come to expect from The Art of Teaching Writing, A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests reflects the authors' belief that in order to be less victimized by tests, we need to be more knowledgeable about them. To that end, their book:
provides a complete overview of tests, showing us how to use this information to be more powerful and more articulate participants in today's political conversations and in our interactions with colleagues, parents, and our students
demonstrates how the methods we've come to trust in the reading and writing workshop can be built upon and adapted as we do test-preparation work with our students
rethinks the reading workshop in light of standardized tests, describing predictable challenges children will face when taking tests and ways we can help children develop the capabilities to meet those challenges
provides guidelines for reading and interpreting test results, enabling us to minimize the damage caused by troubling scores.
If our students do well on tests, write the authors, we are in a far stronger position to be critical of those same tests. With A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests, educators can achieve these results, and advocate for and use forms of assessment that inform teaching and support student learning.