"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Idiots at the Seattle Times

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for children, this idiocy from the brain trust of the Seattle Times editorial board pops into your Google Alert box:
. . . .The question of whether to assess children at the outset of kindergarten is practically a no-brainer. There are few other ways for teachers to learn how to meet individual student needs. The majority of districts already screen children before they start kindergarten or soon afterward. But the effort is less effective because it is voluntary and not all districts do it, or can afford to.

A statewide policy on readiness testing would ensure proper assessment of students in all districts. This solution is backed by the state Department of Early Learning and is part of the agency's report to the governor and the state Legislature on early-learning needs. . . .

. . . . It would make sense for all schools to assess children for developmental delays, allowing for earlier intervention. But only three-quarters of the schools in the study do so. Changing this ought to be a priority. Teachers teach best when they understand the needs of their students.

Enthusiasm for early screening is tempered by understandable concern over how the test would be paid for. The process, including tests, ought to be seen as a part of basic education and funded accordingly. . . .
The call for "interventions" to combat the naturally-occurring developmental differences of young children ought to be enough to these numbskulls fired. As the discussion on early childhood education gets underway in the new Administration, however, watch for more of this empty-headedness masked as tough talk by the accountability cons. Will the pediatricians and child psychologists step forward this time, or will they cower as they have for the past eight years of NCLB child abuse.

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