Saint Petersburg College
William J. Wilson once said, “The person who scored well on an SAT will not necessarily be the best doctor or the best lawyer or the best businessman. These tests do not measure character, leadership, creativity, or perseverance”. Why do we test students? What is the purpose of assessments? Do these tests and assessments benefit the students? These are questions educators have been asking for years. It is impossible for one to determine a child’s academic abilities based solely on a test. Yet there still needs to be some form of assessments performed in order to evaluate the academic level each student has reached. But how much assessing is too much? How heavily do educators rely on the results of these assessments? The main issues, when it comes to assessing early childhood students, are the consequences of the assessment results and how they affect the child. According to The National Academies of Sciences, there are two key principles that support the success of assessment. The first is that the purpose of an assessment should be a guide for assessment decisions. “The purpose for any assessment must be determined and clearly communicated to all stake- holders before the assessment is designed or implemented. Most important, assessment designed for programs should not be used to assess individual children. Because different purposes require different kinds of assessments, the purpose should drive assessment design and implementation decisions” (The National Academies of Sciences, 2008). The second principle is that any assessment performed should be completed in a “coherent system of health, educational, and family support services that promote optimal development for all children.
Assessment should be an integral part of a coherent system of early childhood care and education that includes a range of services and resources” (The National Academies of Sciences, 2008). These
References: Bers, T. H. & Mittler, M. L. (1994). New Directions for Community Colleges. Brink, M. (2002). Involving Parents in Early Childhood Assessment: Perspectives from an Early Intervention Instructor The National Academies of Sciences (2008). Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, And How Early Learning Standards Task Force and Kindergarten Assessment Work Group. (2005). Early Childhood Assessment For Children From Birth To Age 8 (Grade 3) Snow, C. E. & Van Hemel, S. B. (2008). Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, And How