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Friday, November 2, 2012

Math quiz: Count the kindergarteners’ tests

Math quiz: Count the kindergarteners’ tests
Last week Karen Lewis, the often-feisty president of the Chicago Teachers Union, told a parent group that kindergarteners have to take 14 tests this year. That’s what some people call education reform, Lewis said, but “it should be called child abuse” because of the stress the testing regime imposes on youngsters.

CPS officials dispute that count, and say the number is much smaller. The big gap appears to reflect different interpretations of the word test, and the inclusion of separate tests that can be added at individual schools.

CPS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus said Lewis’ statement isn’t true.

“There are two required assessments for kindergarteners that are administered at the beginning and end of year,” she wrote in an emailed response. Those two tests are the REACH Performance Tasks – a wide-ranging evaluation that CPS uses as a key measure of teacher performance -- and a literacy–and-math test known as the NWEA MAP for Primary Grades.

That suggests CPS administers four tests to kindergarten students, two in the autumn and two in the spring.

How can four tests become 14? Different schools have the option of requiring additional tests, for one thing. Julie Fain, wife of CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey and mother of a kindergartener at Pritzker Elementary School, breaks it down this way: “For NWEA MAP Testing, students test in reading and math three times this year. For REACH testing, students will take a literacy test twice this year.” There’s also a literacy test, known by its acronym DIBELS, that will be given three times this year, she said. And Pritzker also administers a math test, known as mClass, that will be given three times this year. 
Winning a PR war with exaggeration?

I'm sharing this related post as I feel it fits with this one. It's not necessarily about testing but it's about parents wanting their young children to be "a step ahead" in the education system by attending an academic kindergarten as opposed to a play-based kindergarten. I wonder if the testing kindergartners go through these days are akin to turning KG into an academic based KG.

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