When I questioned school authorities about this, they downplayed my concerns, saying that if parents want to know a child's level, they can refer to the Iowa's. I fear parents don't realize that this test is often the sole determinant of where there child is placed, and that parents might easily dismiss the results of one test, especially since the school performance is otherwise satisfactory. What do you think? Am I nitpicking here as they seem to feel, or are my concerns legitimate... and if so, what can I do to change this system?
In school districts that have reading groups (as opposed to school districts that use whole language with flexible grouping) there are often three reading groups that fall into a relative relationship of high, medium and low. This is done so that reading skills can be taught to a small group at a more intense level and particular to their need. It is usually quite successful and improvement can be seen, demonstrated, and tested. A child who shows good effort, makes progress and continually improves is rewarded with praise and positive feedback from peers, the teacher, and the folks at home. This is as it should be. The problem is when we discover that some other children are performing at a "higher" level. I suspect your child deserved all the good grades he received.
The Iowa is a nationally normed test and a good check-and-balance to what the school is doing on a daily basis. Determine where your child ranks on the Iowa compared to the rest of the nation and compared to the rest of his peers at your school. Does that match up to where he is within the classroom? Ask the teacher. If your child is having difficulty learning to read, has their been testing done to determine if there is a learning disability? Does your child receive extra support from some special service such as Title 1? Since reading groups are relative to each other, what exactly is meant by the "low" group? Is it a grade level group or below grade level group?