How Young is Too Young for a Standardized Test?
ACT is considering an academic assessment for kindergarteners, and Gov. Scott Walker's educational reforms call for mandatory screening of kindergarten students' reading levels.
An entire industry revolves around preparation for, and success in, the ACT and SAT college prepatory exams. High school juniors and seniors, their parents and school districts take results very seriously and trumpet successes, such as Whitefish Bay’s area-leading scores.
Beneath those tests is the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam, which is administered to students in grades 3-10 in up to five disciplines.
But third grade will not be the floor for standardized test in the near future. Gov. Scott Walker’s “Read to Lead” plan would require screening of kindergarten students to determine reading ability, according to the Lacrosse Tribune, though it does not specifically use the words “standardized tests.” The Huffington Post reported in September that ACT officials — who recently unveiled a suite of related standardized tests down through third grade — put high priority on developing a kindergarten-level assessment.
Proponents argue that it’s never too early to identify skills and shortcomings in students. Opponents say testing such young children creates undue stress and anxiety for minimal return.
How young is too young for a standardized academic assessment exam? Vote in our poll and join the discussion in our comments section. You must be logged into Patch to vote or comment.