Terra Nova Test: Discrepancy in Math Group and Score
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My 8-year-old son just finished second grade today. I was
informed last week that he will be placed in the "Average"
math group (the lowest) for third grade, the other two
groups being "High-Average" and "Compacted". I was shocked
today when I got his Terra Nova scores and saw he scored 74
in Reading, 99 in Language and 99 in Math. His Total Score
was 97. He was not tested for the gifted program this past
year. He doesn't fit the mold of the ideal student, and
struggled a bit this year with focusing and remaining on
My question is, where do I go from here? How can a child who
achieved a National percentile of 99 in Math end up in the
"Average" math group? I asked his school about moving him up
to the "High-Average" math group and I was told I would have
to sign a waiver! Any advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
A: This is really tough as I am
not sure how the school regulations work. There has to be a
good reason for them to place your son in the Average group,
unless they have made a mistake. With a high score in Maths,
it is a wonder how they do the placement unless everyone
else scored just as high and they have taken into account
the total score (though that doesn't make much sense).
The only way is for you to approach the school again,
perhaps someone in a more authoritative position - the
principal, or head teacher. You need to understand the
reason your son is placed in the lower group when his scores
warrants his placement in the high-average group at least.
The school owes it to you to give a valid explanation. If
you are unsatisfied, you may want to bring up this matter at
the PTA meeting or the district.
I'm afraid this is all I can advise as I am not familiar
with the placement policies in schools. Here's wishing you
all the best and I hope your son gets a fair placement based
on his scores.