Many families happily embrace Montessori education when they hear that tests aren’t such a big deal in our classrooms. At our school, students ease into testing little by little as they get older—starting with simple spelling tests in lower elementary and progressing to occasional tests in subjects like latin and science during their upper elementary years.
Once our students complete third grade, they reach a new milestone—the opportunity to take the Stanford 10 Achievement test, which they’ll take each year through 6th grade. Most students don’t even think much of it, but test week comes with special privileges, like extra recess times, snacks to nourish their bodies and minds, and free work cycles to let them rest in between testing sessions.
While we don’t teach to any test (it would be against our Montessori principles to even think of it!), we do gently start preparing our students for their test week towards the end of the school year. By the time they sit down with their answer sheet and pencil, the nerves have been worked out, they know what’s expected of them, and they’re excited to take part in this yearly ritual.
Keep in mind:
- Scores on standardized tests can be a valuable indicator, but they don’t tell the whole story.
- Our students work hard and achieve great things—but test scores aren’t something we direct their focus towards.
- We believe that each student is unique and has something special to contribute to the world.
- Our school provides a supportive environment where students can learn and grow with independence and wonder inspired by a cosmic education.
- We are proud of our students and their accomplishments, no matter what the test scores say.
In classrooms where we don’t keep score, parents often wonder how their children are progressing in comparison to other students their age. Are they learning enough? Are they grasping the right concepts? Will they be prepared to transition to middle school? How far have they gotten behind with the pandemic? We know how stressful these questions can be! And we have great news for those inquiring parents.
Our Test Scores
Even though we’re a school that doesn’t teach to tests, we’re proud to say that Chesapeake Montessori School students regularly score well above their grade level. In 2021, our students scored higher than 57-80% of other students in the same grades across the nation.
- Third graders, on average, scored higher than 57% of their peers (4.3 grade level equivalent).
- Fourth graders, on average, scored higher than 66% of their peers (8.4 grade level equivalent).
- Fifth graders, on average, scored higher than 63% of their peers (7.0 grade level equivalent).
- Sixth graders, on average, scored higher than 80% of their peers (9.1 grade level equivalent).
Imagine that! Our fourth graders are ready for middle school and our sixth graders are ready for high school! Of course, we say that in jest—our students are exactly where they need to be and we won’t let test scores determine their educational journey.
Average Standardized Test Scores
Stanford 10 Achievement Test 2018-2021
|National Percentile Rank||67%||70%||57%|
|Grade Level Equivalent||5.2||5.5||4.3|
|National Percentile Rank||79%||72%||66%|
|Grade Level Equivalent||6.8||6.7||8.4|
|National Percentile Rank||80%||83%||63%|
|Grade Level Equivalent||8.5||9.1||7.0|
|National Percentile Rank||75%||71%||80%|
|Grade Level Equivalent||10.2||8.7||9.1|
We didn’t test in 2020 due to virtual learning through the pandemic, but test scores in 2021 show that our students didn’t lose much progress. Our children are not only having fun while learning, but they are working well beyond grade level, even through a pandemic!
Dig deeper: Researchers found that Montessori schools typically outperform on standardized tests, with valuable results to confront the persistent disparity of educational outcomes across racial and economic lines.
Enrolling soon: If you want to see for yourself how Montessori education prepares your child for success (with high standardized test scores as simply a perk), schedule a classroom tour today!