Monday, October 28, 2013

New assessments for publicly funded early childhood centers

 Learning takes time

Louisiana has a new assessment program for publicly funded early childhood centers. It is called “Teaching Standards Gold.” 

“It asks teachers to evaluate and document that a student is capable of performing a set of developmental skills by a certain point in time, called a checkpoint.”

Teachers are stressed because they feel like they can’t meet the deadlines of the assessments. One teacher stated that they are in eight weeks of school and they are just getting some students “to stop crying for their mom.”

I know that assessing 3-4 year olds are different from assessing an elementary school student.  We not only assess our students based on academic accomplishments, but also social and emotional development.

So when one of the teachers in the article mentioned that they were unable to assess the students because they were just getting them to “stop crying for their mom.” I said to myself, “isn't that a checkpoint?” And if it isn't, why not, you must assess the “whole child;” otherwise it doesn't work.

The article stated that, the teachers “have 39 days before the first checkpoint and that there were 64 objectives that needed to be met…. which means that they had to complete 32 observations a day.”

This is what’s causing the stress, you can’t put time frames on preschoolers, or any students for that matter, because each student learns and develops differently and at different times.

Furthermore, if the teachers are stressed, the students are probably feeling stressed as well, and will not perform at the level they want them to.

They must create a learning environment and let it take its own form to get the results that they want. If the state of Louisiana allows the teachers to become more familiar with the process, they might find that the assessments are completed on time.

But, expecting a student to meet a particular checkpoint at a certain time will most definitely not get the results that they want.


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