In Texas, where our current national policy of sanctioned child abuse began, 11,684 kindergarteners were failed in 2004 because they posed potential threats to passing rates when (and if) they reach the third grade TAKS. We have just demonstrated that our sanity and, now, our humanity bave been sacrificed on the alter of a monstrous notion of accountability--accountability where children no longer count. This will, no doubt, join the eugenics era as forming the most sordid chapters in American educational history.
A clip from an in-depth piece from the San Antonio Express-News:
The use of standardized testing as a key means to improve public school performance has been a fact of life in Texas since 1993. A lesser-known fact: More kindergarten students have been held back each year during that period.
Both the number and percentage of Texas students repeating kindergarten has inched up each year since the 1994-95 school year. Some San Antonio area districts are retaining kindergarten students at particularly high rates, despite the concerns of early childhood experts who criticize the practice as ineffective and confidence-sapping for young children.
It is not clear whether the emphasis on standardized testing performance alone has led to more 5-year-olds repeating kindergarten here. Nationally, the retention rate has remained flat. What is clear in Texas, however, is that those who teach the youngest children are feeling pressure to prepare their students, not for first grade or even for second, but for third grade, when students take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills for the first time.
In 2003, the state mandated that third graders must pass the TAKS to move on to fourth grade.
"What we realized is that the third grade TAKS is not just a measure of your third grade, it's a measure of your kindergarten through third-grade program," said Alicia Thomas, associate superintendent for instruction in the North East Independent School District. . .
The rest here.