One of the distinguishing features of a Waldorf education is the absence of testing and competitive academics. Our faculty work tirelessly to support the success of each child, to ensure that each child reaches his or her potential, and to ignite a passion for learning.
It is our practice at Camellia, as at many private Waldorf schools, to have our middle school students participate in standardized testing during their seventh and eighth grade years. The Terra Nova testing experience is introduced to give our children an experience with standardized assessment as part of their preparation for high school. This experience is also utilized as an opportunity for self assessment for our students and faculty. In addition, some local private schools or specialized programs at public schools require these test results as part of their admission process.
The Terra Nova tests are graded independently and compare students on a nation level. We receive a variety of test results including individual scores, a composite class report, and a summary of pedagogical areas and scores. In general, children at Waldorf schools score above grade level on a consistent basis. At Camellia Waldorf School, our students consistently score 2-3 years above grade level.
The expected Grade Mean Equivalent (GME) for seventh graders taking these tests in May would be expressed as 7.10 indicating the tenth month of the seventh grade year. A GME of 10.1 indicates performance like a tenth grade student in the first month of the school year. A GME of 12.7 indicates performance like a twelfth grade student in the seventh month of school.
The 2015 Terra Nova GME test scores for our 2014-15 seventh grade class as a group are as follows:
Language Arts 12.8
Social Studies 11.3