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Recent early education news and updates

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Md. teachers union wants kindergarten tests suspended


December 16, 2014
AssessmentOutcomesState & LocalWorkforce
Ovetta Wiggins
The Washington Post

The Maryland State Education Association is calling on the State Board of Education to suspend its Kindergarten Readiness Assessments, arguing that teachers lose too much instructional time administering the new computer-based tests and are not receiving useful data to improve teaching and learning. Betty Weller, the president of the teachers union, said the MSEA fielded numerous complaints from teachers after they started administering the test this fall. The union wants the state to halt the testing until issues surrounding the assessment and its implementation are resolved.

Steve Barnett, director of the National Institute of Early Education at Rutgers University, said teachers nationwide have had similar complaints. “Every state is grappling with the same issues,” he said. But Barnett said the assessments provide education policy experts the tools they need to determine what type of reforms should be considered for early education; what type of support children need before they go to kindergarten; and a base line of a student’s skills as he or she moves through elementary school.