Standardized tests for kindergarten?

August 27, 2008 3:41:49 PM PDT
According to the New York Times, the Bloomberg administration is calling for standardized testing in English and math for children as young as kindergartners. The newspaper reports that the Education Department's chief accountability officer, James Liebman, sent an e-mail to principals Monday urging them to join a pilot program with five testing options for kindergarten through second grade.

The options reportedly include timed paper-and-pencil assessments, as well as ones in which teachers record observations of individual students.

According to the Times, Liebman said in his message that the current system, which begins testing in third grade, does "not give schools credit for this foundational work or provide you with the means to evaluate the effectiveness of your K-2 programs."

The program, which has not been publicly announced, has some educators and advocates worried that Bloomberg's efforts to overhaul the school system have been overly focused on standardized testing.

Liebman says the scores would not affect students' grades or teachers' evaluations, but would yield a better picture of students' progress than current tests do.



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