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Evaluating Md. kindergartners has become a one-on-one mission


October 31, 2014
AssessmentOutcomesState & Local
Ovetta Wiggins
The Washington Post

Similar scenarios are playing out across the country as educators increasingly use tests to measure kindergartners’ knowledge in such area as letters, sounds, syllables and number recognition, assessing their needs as they move into the nation’s K-12 public school system. For more than a decade, Maryland has assessed student readiness for kindergarten, but the tests have been revised to align with the Common Core State Standards, a new, national set of academic guidelines. . . 

Messick said she looks for a variety of skills and actions, from how students hold their pencils and crayons (with their fists or between their fingers?) and how they interact (do they help others, and do they share?). Teachers have been trained to also observe the child’s “social foundations,” which include their behavior and their ability to follow multi-step instructions, work collectively, complete tasks and relate to their peers.