September 16 2013

Fed ED Spends Millions on Kindergarten Assessments

Vicki E. Alger

As if kindergarteners don’t have enough stress already. In some schools they’re taking sex ed classes and in others they have to watch out for failing marks on their fat reports cards. Now the feds say they should be taking entrance exams.

Last week the U.S. Department of Education announced that is has awarded more than $15 million for Enhanced Assessment Grants…for kindergarten testing in three states: North Carolina, Maryland and Texas. Originally it had planned to award just $9.2 million, but apparently the department just couldn’t help itself in awarding more.

One condition of winning a grant was to get at least three other states to join them in a consortium.

North Carolina's award amounts to more than $6.1 million. In addition to Arizona, other states in the consortium include Delaware, Iowa, Maine, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington DC and South Carolina as a collaborating state. …

The Maryland grant, in the amount of $4.9 million, is part of a 7-state consortium, including Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio. …

Texas's award totaling $3.9 million will fund a proposal to implement the Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment System (TX-KEA)…

These kindergarten tests supposed to measure “essential domains of school readiness,” which include:

…the domains of language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge (including early mathematics and early scientific development), approaches toward learning, physical well-being and motor development (including adaptive skills), and social and emotional development.

Whoa!

For now, the kindergarten tests aren’t high stakes, meaning your child won’t be thrown out of class for flunking show and tell.

But it is worth considering that the Democrats are now actively pushing universal preschool for all three- and four-year olds.

So it’s not a stretch to think that some time in the not so distant future some public school kindergarten assessment comes back and your child has a failing mark in “approaches toward learning” or “emotional development,” it’ll be back to government-run preschool for her or him.

Most of the government’s stated measures of school readiness involve matters that are best left to parents and their children’s pediatricians, such as physical well being and motor development, not school officials and government bureaucrats.

This is yet another attempt to intrude into families’ personal lives under the guise of helping children.

 

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