Topics in Early Childhood Education

Friday, August 12, 2005

Leave No Child Untested

With No Child Left Behind (Leave No Child Untested), there is increasing pressure being placed on preschool programs to prepare children to enter kindergarten. In fact, the current National Head Start Test (NRS) is an excellent example of how government is insisting that preschool programs be accountable for preparing children to enter school. In discussing reauthorization of Head Start, Congress recognized that the NRS is poorly designed and has ordered scientific researchers to analyze the assessment and make it a more effective tool. Unfortunately, Head Start Agencies must continue to administer the poor assessment until it is analyzed and made more appropriate.

While I have no problem with being accountable for early childhood services, I am concerned about our ability to place a national standardized assessment on a four year-old child. Early Childhood professionals recognize that to paint an accurate picture of a child’s school preparation, there must be observation, analysis and formal assessments within the classroom environment to authenticate the information. Can a standardized assessment really do that? Are we going to be able to develop a system that will give us an accurate picture of the child’s learning? Given the track record of other standardized tests, I am not sure we can create an accurate instrument.


At 6:55 AM, Blogger June said...

I could not agree more with your reportings of observing a classroom where the teacher was having the children pattern without previous instruction or introductory. But for her defense I will graduate in May with a Masters in Education, with an Early Childhood Concentration and the classes that I have taken have not prepared me for teaching preschool math. For my action research, I am devising a plan/method that will aid preschool teachers what steps are necessary for preschoolers to obtain the necessary order to complete mathematical functions, using a variety of research measures. The focus for years has been on literacy and not completely, but to a degree other areas of development have been placed on the back burner. I would appreciate if I could contact you for further consultation. I truly have enjoyed reading your "Topics in Early Childhood Education" which I found as a link on Discount School Supply's weekly newsletter.
Thank you for what you do.

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At 8:04 PM, Blogger Drazil said...

While I do believe that some assessment is helpful, the amount of assessment that takes place in a Head Start classroom (where I teach) is unbelievable. The push toward spoon-feeding knowledge is tough for me, too. While I think that a preschool program needs to incorporate knowledge building and learning, it must be developmentally appropriate!

At 3:18 AM, Anonymous early childhood programs said...

Pre School programs and Kindergarten are increases day by day and activities earn by kids is really helpful to go for school level.


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