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What Kindergartners Might Teach Us About Test-Based Accountability


Florida assesses incoming kindergartners with a very weak test and then determines the quality of funded four year old programs. A provider can be eliminated from the 540 hour program based upon a child's scores in the first 30 days of kindergarten. Wish I was making this up, but it's true.

I agree that absolute proficiency, when used alone, is poor metric to gauge a school's quality. However, I disagree that it is absurd to use 4th grade NAEP scores to assess a school system. Of course, factors other than school inputs are at play, just as they are in 8th grade and 12th grade. However, these kids have likely been in the public school system for 5 years by the time they take the 4th grade NAPE, and the NAEP is simply assessing whether they have learned what a 4th grader should know.


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