BJU Press Testing & Evaluation Improves Homeschool Testing Pricing and Services
Source: Virtual-Strategy Magazine
March 15, 2012
BJU Press Testing & Evaluation has unveiled new and improved services for the 2012 homeschool testing season. Among the most significant advancements is the rapid turnaround of testing results, originally 8 weeks now within 10 business days. These improvements enabled BJU Press Testing & Evaluation to reduce the cost of tests by over 30%. The test administrator application process has also been streamlined and moved online.
Achievement Testing offers accountability to homeschools, allowing them to track student progress. When homeschooling first began, homeschoolers had little support or respect. Publishers would not sell tests to them. The test publishers wanted only big contracts with large school districts.
Without access to the most reliable achievement tests, like the Stanford Achievement Test or the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills®, parents were stuck. Some managed to get their children tested at public schools. Others were not able to test at all.
BJU Press recognized this need of homeschool families and decided to step in. “We went directly to the publishers of the primary achievement tests and opened a dialogue with them,” explains Rich Kohler, Manager of BJU Press Testing & Evaluation. “From that discussion, Testing & Evaluation was born, and since 1984 we have made standardized tests available to homeschoolers all year long.”
“Since our beginning, we’ve been looking for ways to serve homeschoolers and their educational goals,” says Rich, “which is why we’ve been busy since the last testing season to improve our internal processes.” Late 2011, BJU Press Testing & Evaluation invested in new equipment, reducing scoring time from 6–8 weeks to within 10 business days.
The new equipment has also reduced operating costs for BJU Press Testing & Evaluation, and the company has passed those savings on to customers. The cost of individual achievement tests has been reduced up to 35%. These reductions apply to ITBS®, ITED® and the Stanford 10.
Security is a vital part of any standardized testing. SAT and ACT cheating scandals have highlighted how careful test publishers must be about test administration. Publishers require that BJU Press Testing & Evaluation ensures that students taking the tests are indeed homeschoolers and not public school students trying to cheat on exams.
BJU Press Testing & Evaluation remains committed to maintaining the security and validity of the tests for all homeschools, and now that security is more convenient for homeschool parents. The homeschool verification previously was conducted through postal mail. The entire process can now be completed online with a click of a button.
BJU Press also improved its test administrator application process. In order to administer standardized tests to their children, the publishers require parents to be certified test administrators. Previously this application process was long and challenging. This past summer and fall, BJU Press moved the application online to expedite and simplify the process.
“We’re committed to ensuring that homeschoolers’ test materials are secure and that they receive their results as quickly as possible,” concludes Rich. “We made these changes to improve our services to homeschoolers. We wanted to make their testing experience as enjoyable as possible.”
BJU Press Testing & Evaluation is a part of BJU Press. BJU Press exists to encourage Christian character in students and promote academic excellence through the provision of K4–Grade 12 educational materials and support services. In addition to textbooks and materials, we offer homeschool distance learning programs.