Monday, March 19, 2012

I Failed Him . . .

I failed him . . . clearly I did!  It is all my fault!

I have previously mentioned we were going to have Jake re-tested.  We want to figure out if his testing results were a fluke or a trend.

We feel it was important for us to know - we would hate to set him up to fail by placing him in a very rigorous school, or cut him short - based on one test that we are not so sure was an accurate picture of his intelligence.

Therefore . . . last Saturday, while Goo, Mimi, Scoots and I were at the St. Patty's Day Parade, Jake was being retested.

The tester did a series of test.  She used the Stanford Binet IQ test, a Kindergarten readiness test and a visual/vocabulary test.

Previously he was tested on the WPSII-3 IQ test.  You might wonder why didn't he take this test again.  Ethically, he can't.  There is an assumed learning, called a halo effect, about the test once someone takes it.  I am not sure how accurate this is since the test administrator doesn't tell the kids if they get it right or wrong - she just marks her paper accordingly.  BUT . . . for this to be a fair process - we had a different IQ test performed.  This IQ test is still being used by the top private girls school for Jake's age, among a few others.  It is still widely used across the US, just not by the CATS Texas testing organization, the same organization that tested Jake the first go around.

Our test administrator was not easy to find.  She test for a well know private all girls school here in Dallas as well as the top co-ed religious based school in town.  I spoke with 9 people to find someone who could administer an equvelent test but not the same one.  She came highly recommended by 3 different sources!

We want to make the best decision possible for his future - so I requested his test/answers from CATS Texas and they are refusing to call me back.  I personally believe when you pay $275, you should have the option of seeing your child's test.  I guess them not returning phone calls or emails might indicate they feel differently.

Despite Jake being 4 years.3months, we had our tester administer a Kindergarten readiness test.  This was to assess how much he knows before beginning Kindergarten.  Keep in mind - he is not going into kindergarten, he will enter Pre-K this coming fall.  We still wanted to see where he is on this.  We wanted to see if there are learning gaps, we wanted to see if there are processing issues, we wanted to know if not only could he do the Pre-K work but if he was ready for the K work as well.  Jake completely approximately 70% of this test. Seeing that he doesn't go to Kindergarten for another year and a half we were surprised by his completion percentage.

 The last test, KSEALS,  is a visual/vocabulary test - it is a - what do you know - kind of test.   The administrator has a booklet - the booklet lays flat on the table.  There is a shield between what he sees and what the administrator sees.  She reads him a sentence - she is looking to see if he can identify tenses - if he knows what she is talking about - if he understands the sequencing to her questions.

2 hours later - the testing was over.  The administrator came out and talked with my husband.  She first explained how the test were administered.  She then explained how as the administrator she thought he did, as they were processing through the test - this can change once she sits to score him.  She also explained some holes in what she was seeing with Jake knowledge base.

She first identified - he doesn't have a dominate hand.  We see him use his left most of the time at home.  During his testing, he used both.  Since he hasn't established a dominate hand - he is equally good/bad in both hands verses having one that is superior over the other.  He does have a proper grip, but uses both.  My sister Julie, if hoping for a lefty that plays baseball.  We feel certain he will be a lefty.  The administrator went on to say IF he hasn't established a dominate hand by 6 - we might need to intervene.

She continued on with his challenges . . . she said Jake doesn't know his letters.  As, I have previously blogged about, he knows his letters.  The school he is in teaches children to read cursive - they say teaching a child cursive is easier for them with their reading and writing.  You can teach a kid print and he can read print - but most handwritten communication is in cursive - so you must then teach them cursive.  Jake's school believes . . . teach them cursive from the beginning and you won't have to teach them to print - as there is some odd pathways in the brain that can read cursive and print - if you only know cursive.

And . . . here is where I have done my child wrong . . . my sweet baby boy . . . my Sweet Baby Jake! I have failed him . . . done him a HUGE disservice. 

When identifying items - in the what do you know - testing - I have failed him!  Jake doesn't know what a mop is, a rake or a nail.  THERE YOU GO FOLKS!  I have sheltered this little boy . . . I have kept him from succeeding!

I think you might be hard pressed to find . . .

1 - a 4 year old

2 - a boy

3 - a middle class child

4 - applying to private school

that knows what a mop, rake or nail is!  We have a lady who helps in our home - so I don't use the mop - why oh why would Jake know what one was . . . we have a yard man - but guess what . . . he doesn't use a rake - he has a leaf blower . . . but even his kid doesn't know what a rake is and . . . the nail!  We have done two sets of remodeling on our home and I have kept my infant . . . my baby  . . . and now my young boy away from the work sites where he can get hurt!

So there . . . I fail him . . . or maybe not . . .

We just got his new test scores in and . . . up 32%!!!

WHOO HOO JAKE!  We knew it!  You are a smart little fella!


  1. He needs to come to cousin Mary's more often, play in the rocks next time and maybe drive a front end loader.......and I will be sure to send him home with some nails of his own!

  2. Done and Done! He is out of school on May 31 - Can I drop him on June 1? He does love some Mary!