The appalling testing mania that is permeating US education has steadily been going down to lower and lower grade levels. It has now reached even the kindergarten level, with little children having to learn how to answer multiple choice tests, one of the worst forms of assessment.
Administering the exams is a complete headache, teachers said. “They don’t know how to hold pencils,” said a Bronx kindergarten teacher whose class recently took the Pearson exam. “They don’t know letters, and you have answers that say A, B, C or D and you’re asking them to bubble in . . . They break down; they cry.”
Because the little test-takers don’t know their numbers, teachers direct them to find each question by an image printed next to the answers.
As a teacher says, “I can tell when a student needs help. I don’t have to give them a test.”
The effects of this madness are pernicious. Not only are the little children baffled by the whole idea of filling in bubbles for the right answer, they are also being told that their natural tendency to help each other is the wrong thing to do and that they must do their work on their own.
We are infusing toddler with the Tea Party mentality. Maybe schools will soon start identifying children according to whether they are makers or takers.