The Boston Globe has a story this morning about how the state of Massachusetts is looking into whether or not they should test Kindergartners. I think it's ridiculous and loudly say, hell no.
Massachusetts is developing plans to assess students as soon as they enter kindergarten to gauge how prepared they are for school, part of a proposal to overhaul early education after a decade that saw basic literacy skills for elementary-age children across the state barely improve at all.
But unlike the MCAS exams given to students in the upper grades, kindergartners - who are not expected to know how to read or write - would not be filling in bubble sheets or answering essay questions.
Instead, teachers would measure students’ early knowledge of literacy and math by carefully observing and questioning them during classroom activities, meticulously documenting their performance against a set of state standards, and including samples of their work. They will also take note of students’ social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development.
This is absolutely ridiculous. Kindergarten is a time for young children to learn how to socialize with other kids and adults who aren't there parents, aunts, uncles, friends of the family, etc. It's about learning how to share, playing together, coloring, learning how to count, etc. It's more about structure than it is testing.
A friend of mine made a great point about this on Facebook:
This is a step too far. If the state wants to assess kindergarten students like this, they need to provide more professional development, classroom support and financial resources to school districts and teachers. It would be extremely difficult for one kindergarten teacher with 20+ students to "meticulously document" each child's literacy and math skills, plus their social, cognitive and emotional and physicial development. Time for a reality check.
What do you think? Test or not test?