Urban Prairie Waldorf School

Statement on Standardized Testing

Urban Prairie Waldorf School educates children for the test that matters most…life.


As a private school, we are not obligated by the state to subject our students to high-stakes standardized tests.  We believe that these tests do not accurately reflect the whole child, and along with test-prep, they take up a large amount of time that could be devoted to the real task of schools–teaching.  At Urban Prairie, we place a premium on deep learning experiences.  This means that students really dive into a subject.  When they study Greek history, they also learn about what was happening in math and art at the time.  They participate in the classic Greek sports of the pentathlon.  They play music from the same period.  The class teachers and special subject teachers work together to give students a fully immersive experience.  On the other hand, public schools are being asked to cover an increasingly large amount of material in a year shortened by test-prep and test taking.  This leads to a shallow subject knowledge that students are frequently unable to apply in a different setting.  Moreover, the current standardized testing model in public schools forces children into the stressful position of being responsible for representing the effectiveness of their teachers and schools.  Urban Prairie understands that some families cannot afford a private school education, and we support More than a Score Chicago in their effort to end the misuse of high-stakes standardized testing in Chicago Public Schools.