My New Piece at The Nation on Pre-K “Testing”

As part of the new round of Race to the Top, the Obama administration is spending $500 million asking states to develop pre-K assessments. What does pre-K "testing" look like in the classroom when done well? I explain at The Nation:

Maryland has perhaps the most advanced pre-K assessment tool in the country, and one the Department of Education is pointing to as an example. The state’s “Model for School Readiness” requires incoming kindergarteners to be assessed in seven “domains of learning:” language and literacy, mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, social studies, the arts, physical development, and social and personal development. Teachers perform the assessment by looking at a child’s drawings and writing, watching the child attempt to identify letters and numbers, and observing the child playing and interacting with both peers and adults.

The purpose of the system is to improve instruction for kids, not to reward or punish individual educators.

Read the whole column.

One thought on “My New Piece at The Nation on Pre-K “Testing”

  1. EBB

    “The purpose of the system is to improve instruction for kids, not to reward or punish individual educators.”

    This point is being lost in the conversations about Pre-K “testing” all over the internet. One of the big reasons for the widespread failure of our educational system to teach children effectively and encourage them to stay in school, is that we push them ahead into the next grade when they haven’t mastered what they need to in their current grade. And this starts at the school-entering level. You can argue (and I do) that children don’t need to be able to read by the end of Kindergarten, but they do need to be able to talk in complete sentences, negotiate differences with peers, ask for help when needed, and a host of other skills that will be assessed in the pre-K “tests.” Which are really readiness assessments.


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