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Standardized testing alert! PDF Print E-mail

Standardized testing

I just finished re-reading an article published in 2003 in the New York Times titled "The littlest test takers" and it still has me concerned. As more states move to get into the business of preschool education the specter of standardized testing continues to raise its head. This is not to say that preschools should not do testing of any sort but, because it is hard to test emotional and social development in a child there is a danger that standardized tests will land up streaming children based on academic criteria. This would be a nightmare scenario.

It is up to all of us as individuals to make sure that our children are assessed based on the skills that matter most and not their ability to parrot. Government is interested in quantifiable data and accountability and this could lead to a situation like the one generated by No Child Left Behind that punishes under-performing schools with funding cuts. These are usually the poorest schools and the ones that need the funding the most. Imagine a situation where a school is underfunded because their children can cut with scissors, mix and paint with colors, play socially but cant recite the alphabet or add 2 plus 2 at the age of three.

Stay alert my friends and be ready to speak out the moment the idea of academic testing is considered applicable to preschoolers.

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