Are there lengthy inappropriate computerized or written tests in Kindergarten to align with the common core agenda in New York and other states on the East coast? You betya. Parents may not even know this. Did you?
AIM WEB. MAPS. NWEA. STAR. SLO.
THESE are the tests for the younger set and they benchmark the little ones, and evaluate teachers.
Several teachers in upstate New York have shared their concerns about kindergarten testing, especially in light of the fact that it is not well known to parents that this is even happening. Because these exams aren’t labeled as “state tests” and therefore are not well discussed, most parents are unaware of these tests. Kindergarten children do not come home and report them as they’re generally not even aware they’re being tested.
One upstate Ny teacher shares,
“Our district uses SLOs for K. We test these babies on the 2nd or 3rd day of school, right out the gate, when a bunch can’t even write their name yet. They don’t understand why they’re being asked stuff they don’t know yet. Then we retest them in June, (and once in between) and we’re AMAZING teachers because of all the growth they’ve shown. Well, duh.
They’re also asked to write a sentence or two to answer a question based on what they listen to. In September. When they can’t write their name, don’t know all the letters, etc.
Another part of the problem with tests is that they’re very poorly designed. I have seen choices A, B and C on one page, while choice D is on the reverse side of that page.
Additionally, various cohorts of classes are asked to do a SLO for music, art or gym. The first year we did them, K had to do EVERY special SLO.
So my kids had to do math, ELA, music, art, gym. 5 days of tests. For kindergarten.
In all fairness, the listening section for June isn’t too bad. It’s actually on par with what they should be able to do. However, it just burns me that they’re taking any kind of multiple choice, whole group test at ALL. It also pisses me off that they’re expected to do one in September. Guess what they get? Low scores! No kidding! For some of them, it’s their first time in school ever. They don’t get the concept of a “pre-test” and that it’s ok that they don’t know the answers. Sometimes they are very upset that they don’t know the answer. I have to reassure them that it’s ok to not get it yet.
Some doodle on the papers, some circle multiple answers all over the paper, a few actually do it, but those are the high fliers anyway.”
A Columbia Co teacher from upstate NY states:
“It’s been reported that NWEA is about a 1/2 hour long, for 3 days in Kindergarten. One day each for: reading, writing, and math. Three times a year.
NWEA in my district starts in Kindergarten. It is a computer based assessment. According to the kindergarten teachers, most of the kids just click away on the mouse without reading….not a valid measure.
Roughly 1/2 an hour is allotted each day though I have been told many of the kids zip through it very quickly as they are playing rather than answering each question one by one…”
Another NY teacher shares here:
Note the Kindergarten reference here:
This IS happening. We want better.