Kindergarten and Standardized Testing

Standardized testing is on the rise and teaching to the test is favored but now the Kindergarten grade has also been brought into this world of standards. Is it a good approach to begin standardized testing at a young age?

My friend teaches in a school in Paterson, NJ and through a conversation, she mentioned that her class had testing this past week. It didn’t click right away till after I got off the phone call with her but my friend is a full time Kindergarten teacher!

The age of a Kindergartener is around 5 years old. At this age, how many have the attention span or listening skills to complete a standardized test? The Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) states they do NOT believe standardized testing is an ideal way to test a child’s intelligence at any age, but especially at the K-2nd grade level.

The ACEI feels a child should not be pressured to begin testing at the Kindergarten level and says labeling of a child begins from their first test results.

On the other side of the argument, after discussing this with my friend, the Kindergarten teacher, she feels standardized testing at the Kindergarten level is a good concept. The points she made were standardized testing:

• Keeps all teachers on task,

• The curriculum is being followed and teaching is more than just following a book,

• Allows creative ways to teach the different concepts,

• Getting children used to testing at a younger age helps with future tests, and

• If the teacher is doing their job properly, then there is nothing to worry about when it
comes to the test results.

The opinions about standardized testing seem to range for all or against.

What is your opinion about standardized testing?