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Testing tots not the best way to assess skill levels

July 22, 2015
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Recently there has been a lot of controversy about standardize testing for children. What most people don't know is that these assessments start as early as pre-k; children are being tested at the age of 4 and 5.

As an early childhood educator, I believe these types of assessments are unnecessary, especially at this young age. I believe that they are developmentally inappropriate and are the opposite of what we are supposed to be doing with the children.

For decades, we as early childhood educators, have been told that we should be teaching these young minds by engaging them in active learning. It has been known and proven through research that young children learn the best through hands on experience and by being active and playing. We are expected to pull these children from that environment into a room with no visual stimulation and give them an assessment two to three times a year that lasts approximately 20-30 minutes depending on the child.

To me, as an educator, it makes no sense.

I understand the importance of assessing children, but what better way to assess than by observation as you work with them on a daily basis, taking notes of the areas that they need help in and the ones that they excel at, and to correct them and take advantage of those teachable moments? The information we gather will help us meet the children's needs and encourage learning.

As educated and well-informed teachers, we should be able to do these more effective assessments instead of the current standardized tests.

Ileana Nodal

Cape Coral



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