Steamboat Springs It's not often that Steamboat Springs Middle School students get excited about tests, but that was precisely the case Tuesday when 60 eighth-graders were selected to take part in a national assessment test.
The test, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, is administered annually to random schools and students across the country. The purpose of the test is to provide a nationally representative assessment of what American students know.
Tuesday was the first time the middle school has been selected to participate in the test.
Middle school Principal Tim Bishop told eighth-graders Monday some of them would be selected to represent the state of Colorado and the nation by taking the test.
Student reaction Tuesday, when the 60 randomly selected names were announced, was encouraging, Bishop said.
"I was expecting groaning and complaining when I announced names this morning," Bishop said. "But I actually heard 'Gosh, this is the first test I wanted to take' from students who weren't selected. They were stoked."
Thirty students were tested in reading and 30 were tested in math. Individual student and school results will not be available, Assistant Principal Jerry Buelter said.
Instead, student scores will be compiled with those of other students from around the state to measure Colorado students as a whole. Colorado will then be compared to the rest of the nation, and national results will be compared to those of other nations, Buelter said.
"They tear the names off the test the minute they leave," Buelter said. "We'll never get feedback that says, 'This is how this kid did on the test.'"
Bishop treated the 60 test-takers to a salad, lasagna and pizza lunch.
"(The test) probably will not happen (again) for a number of years," Bishop said. "It was optional, and I went ahead and said, 'Let's do it.'"
The test also was administered in Kremmling, and Craig students are scheduled to take part in the test today, Bishop said.