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Opinion: What kind of Pre-K house hath Florida built?


August 25, 2006 AssessmentQuality and CurriculumState & Local
Steve Barnett

Looking at Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) one year after its launch, one is left wondering how far off the mark the program really is. I say “wonder” because at present, there is no scientifically sound plan to measure its educational benefits to the children who attend.

Editorial: Junior kindergarten better fits children to academics


August 1, 2006 Assessment

As the Star-Bulletin’s Dan Martin reports, a 2004 law directs schools to assess, then place children in junior kindergarten or kindergarten, based on ability. [Junior kindergarten] gets younger children into schools while providing the additional assistance some might need.

State to test for success of pre-K


July 26, 2006 AssessmentState & Local
Jeffrey S. Solochek

A two-part assessment will help show how much prekindergarten helped. But some say the test is flawed and out of context.

Coalition calls for preschool expansion


February 19, 2006 Assessment
Diane D'Amico

A report released by the Build Initiative calls on Gov. Jon Corzine to create an Office of Early Learning, which would coordinate all state programs for children, currently managed by about 20 different agencies.

Preschool by the numbers: Bill seeks to expand early learning options


February 17, 2006 Assessment
Kathryn Casa

Investment in early learning opportunities makes sense because that’s a peak time for brain development.

Pre-K Standards Said to Slight Social, Emotional Skills


July 14, 2004 AssessmentState & Local
Linda Jacobson

Thirty-six states now have standards for what children should know and be able to do before they enter kindergarten, particularly in literacy and other academic areas. But many of those documents don’t give the same level of attention to other aspects of development, such as social and emotional skills and physical growth, according to the…

Preschoolers get head start on tough testing


March 14, 2004 AssessmentGovernance and AccountabilityState & Local
Laura Bruno

More than 100 children in Morris County’s Head Start, along with nearly a half-million 4- and 5-year-olds nationwide, are getting an early taste of standardized testing before entering kindergarten. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, said the biggest flaw in the testing plan is that there is…

Experts disagree over best way to evaluate 4-year-olds in nation’s Head Start agencies


November 24, 2003 AssessmentGovernance and AccountabilityState & Local
Linda Borg

More than four million 4-year-olds in Head Start programs across the country are taking the same 15-minute test, which measures vocabulary, number and letter recognition and math. It is not only the largest standardized testing of very young children conducted in the United States, it’s the most controversial.

The Littlest Test Takers


November 9, 2003 AssessmentGovernance and AccountabilityState & Local
Susan Brenna

In this era of testing and accountability, preschool is the last frontier. Most preschool educators are coming to accept that with more states getting into the business of educating 3- and 4-year-olds, the political demands for accountability — for showing that preschools and kindergartens work — are inevitable.

Now, Standardized Achievement Tests in Head Start


October 29, 2003 AssessmentGovernance and AccountabilityState & Local
Sara Rimer

Federal officials say the test will improve the quality of Head Start, the 38-year-old program intended to prepare poor children for kindergarten. But many of the country’s leading education experts, and Head Start providers and teachers, say the test could harm the children as well as Head Start, which is widely regarded as one of…