Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This is what I wanted. Right?

My first grader took her first standardized tests this year -- the Stanford 10s. We got her results in the mail a few weeks ago, and at first glance, they were kind of awful. Full of "middles" and 70th percentiles, and we all know that I am an intellectual snob. But upon closer examination, we noticed that in many cases, if she got 29/30 correct, that already knocked her down to "middle" -- which seems a bit weird.

Last night, the school had an informational meeting to go over the results. A general kind of thing -- this is how to read the scores you got, not, hey, let's talk about your individual kid.

Turns out there's a fairly critical bit of information that they never bothered to share with us. Namely, first you have to look at the IQ equivalancy scores, and then look at the highs, middles, and lows, which are YOUR KID'S highs, middles, and lows in relation to how she scored on the IQ bit. In other words, lots of middles means that your kid is performing where you'd expect, given how she scored on the IQ part. Highs means your kid is really working hard and doing better than you'd expect, and lows mean your kid is really just phoning it in.

The head of the school kept up her cheerleading all throughout the meeting. "Average is great!" she said again and again. "Remember, that's what you wanted all during your pregnancy!"

Always fun to get a bit of dramatic irony, no?