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K-2 Testing

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Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein: I oppose your plan to expand standardized testing to students in kindergarten through second grade. While I believe that it is important and necessary to assess our children so that teachers and schools can provide them the most enriching learning environments, standardized tests do not appropriately measure the complexity of a young child's growth and development for the following reasons: -- Testing young children is highly unreliable due to the varying timetable of the academic/cognitive development in early childhood. It is unfair and potentially harmful to judge a child on testing tasks for which she/he is not developmentally ready. -- Young children may not be able to meet the demands of a standardized test for a variety of reasons: hunger, boredom, fatigue, illness, anxiety or simply the developmental inability to sit still for protracted stretches of time. -- Standardized tests have a long and notorious history of misrepresenting the intellectual capabilities of young children based on race, class and immigrant status. -- Test scores are not perfect measures, therefore no single test should ever be used alone to make a critical judgment about a child. Yet, the Department of Education has a history of using single test scores to judge our children and schools, a policy that we fear will be perpetuated with kindergarten through second grade testing. Furthermore, during this period of tight budgets and reductions, it would be a waste of money and resources to spend millions of dollars on a testing policy that the research and education communities nearly unanimously decry as unreliable and potentially harmful to children.


Jane Hirschmann Time Out From Testing 175 West 93rd Street NY, NY 10025

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