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Recent early education news and updates

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Why kindergarten teachers don’t want to give this test to their students

December 19, 2014
Valerie Strauss
The Washington Post

The state of Maryland has developed a new Common Core-aligned “kindergarten readiness assessment” for teachers to administer to young kids to see, rather obviously, if they are “ready” for kindergarten. Now hundreds of kindergarten teachers who used the computer-based test for the first time this fall are pushing back, saying the assessment is not appropriate and won’t help them teach. Kindergarten teachers have been giving readiness tests to youngsters for many years. Today at least 25 states mandate a kindergarten readiness assessment and this is likely to rise. As standardized testing has become a key component of school reform and early childhood education, new emphasis has been placed on ensuring that children are “ready” to enter kindergarten, and new assessments that evaluate a range of social and academic abilities are being created. The U.S. Education Department, for example, this month announced that $250 million in federal funding was going to 18 states to create or expand existing preschool programs, with one of the requirements the creation of  kindergarten readiness assessments (KRAs). . .

Steve Barnett, director of the National Institute of Early Education at Rutgers University, said that kindergarten readiness exams can be useful but in some cases, can also be wasteful.