If you’re not aware of what students are required to do in kindergarten these days, be sure to read this article in Rethinking Schools titled “Testing Kindergarten: Young Children Produce Data, Lots of Data.”
A teacher with 6-years’ experience in the Milwaukee Public Schools writes about how little recess and nap time her students get and describes in great detail the amount of testing she is required to administer:
I have seen a decrease in district initiatives that are developmentally appropriate, and an increase in the amount of testing and data collection for 5-year-olds. Just when I thought the district couldn’t ask for any more test scores or drills or practice, a new initiative and data system pops up for my school to complete. My school has not met our Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the past three years. Due to our failure to meet AYP, we are now a School Identified for Improvement (SIFI), with Level Two status.
The students in my classroom during the 2008-09 school year completed more assessments than during any of my prior years of teaching kindergarten:
Milwaukee Public Schools’ 5-Year-Old Kindergarten Assessment (completed three times a year)
On the Mark Reading Verification Assessment (completed three times a year)
A monthly writing prompt focused on different strands of the Six Traits of Writing
28 assessments measuring key early reading and spelling skills
Chapter pre- and post-tests for all nine math chapters completed
Three additional assessments for each math chapter completed
A monthly math prompt
Four Classroom Assessments Based on Standards (CABS) per social studies chapter (20 total)
Four CABS assessments per science chapter (20 total)
Four CABS assessments per health chapter (20 total)
I recently learned that my students will also be expected to complete four benchmark assessments beginning in the 2010-11 school year.