The students of Desert Torah Academy take the Terra Nova Standardized Test at the end of
each school year. They are also given the Aimswebb Assessment three times a year.
Rabbi Rodman, school principal explained, “The Terra Nova is a norm referenced standardized test while Aimswebb is a Curriculum Based Assessment (CBA). There are actually significant differences between Standardized Norm Referenced Tests and Curriculum Based Assessments, but in simple terms, the former gives a large, comprehensive picture of a student’s progress, while the latter gives a quick snapshot of a child’s progress. This allows schools time to modify a student’s program when necessary”.

The Rabbi continued, “Public schools are forced to do assessments on an almost weekly
basis, in order to receive federal funding. This takes away valuable time from learning. Since we don’t receive federal funds, we do not have the same obligation. On the other hand, it is important to do some objective standardized tests for two reasons. One is to find out which students need remedial help or more advanced work. The other, of course, is to make sure that the majority of the school’s students are making appropriate progress”.

The rabbi concluded, “I am happy to report that in our most recent Aimswebb Assessment,
between 85% - 90% of our students scored above the target range. Many of our students scored in the well above average and even the extreme above average range. The fact that some students’ averages are below the target is not surprising, as we don’t hesitate to accept students with learning challenges. Luckily, this year, we have hired a resource room teacher who is working to get these students up to the target level. We are really pleased with the progress of all our students.”

The mission of Desert Torah Academy is to provide the Jewish children of Southern Nevada
with an outstanding Judaic/Hebrew and Secular education. DTA staff will promote students’ growth as
active learners; respectful, responsible citizens; and independent
thinkers. Through a stimulating and safe
learning environment, our students will grow in appreciation of Jewish
tradition and culture while being prepared for success in high school and life
in the world community.