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

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just Say No to Kindergarten Testing for More Tests

My youngest grandson just started kindergarten, and his mom tells me that someone wants him to be part of a "longitudinal study." When she sent me the link, I found out that the ED's Institute for Education Science (IES) has contracted with Westat, Inc. to do some measuring about 20,000 children from their kindergarten days through 5th grade.  The website says that "data gathered will provide information that can help families, teachers, schools, superintendents, policy makers, and researchers make informed decisions about what is best for today’s children."

Children will be have their bodies measured and their "minds" measured during these six year, and their teachers and principals will be interviewed.

Here are two of the sample questions for kindergartners.  If they are expected to know this kind of math in kindergarten, what must 5th grade look like?  Nonlinear equations?  And how about that "science" question? Play much tennis in Harlan County or the South Bronx?  I've played quite a bit, and my answer was "slows down."

I suggested to my daughter and son-in-law they just say no.  Who needs more prodding and measuring added to the hundreds of hours of prodding and measuring planned for our little "Big Time" in the coming years of the testing factories?

Example 1: Mathematics

Picture of a teddy bear SAY: Jacob has six teddy bears. Each teddy bear has two eyes. How many eyes are there in all?
POINT TO CORRESPONDING AREAS ON THE STIMULUS PAGE AS NUMBERS ARE BEING READ.
TAKE OUT PAPER AND PENCIL OR POINT TO THE PAPER AND PENCIL THE CHILD ALREADY HAS AND
SAY: You can use these to figure it out.
RECORD CHILD'S RESPONSE.
SCORE 1 = CORRECT (12)
SCORE 2 = INCORRECT

Example 3: Science

Picture of a young girl swinging a tennis racket at a tennis ball What most likely happens first to a tennis ball when it is hit hard by a tennis racket? (POINT TO AND READ EACH RESPONSE CATEGORY.)
RECORD CHILD'S RESPONSE
A. The ball slows down.
B. The ball changes direction.
C. The ball sticks to the racket.
D. The ball goes through the racket.

1 comment:

  1. They did a test based on the premise of helping children with dyslexia to account or measure the effectiveness of special schools in the fight against Dyslexia.

    ReplyDelete