would you have a problem w/ this kindergarten entrance test? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so my neice is entering kindergarten. In order to "get in" they had to pass a series of little tests. including "skipping", writing name, writing alphabet, etc... their ability to do it or not determind which "group/class" they would be in.

I had such an issue w/ this. I mean, what if my child simply didn't want to skip that day.. .then he'd have to go to the non-skippers group that "needs more help w/ motor skills"?

My MIL and SIL thought me nuts to get so bent out of shape about it... but it seems so very classist and just not fare... what do you all think?
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#2 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 12:39 PM
 
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I think it is very bizarre.

I also think it is a bad idea to put kids into groups from these tests.

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#3 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 12:41 PM
 
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My mom was a kindergarten teacher, she ran those tests. At least in my mom's classroom they are not entrance tests, they are assessment tests - they just see where the child is at the start of kindergarten, developmentally. The teachers see children at all levels and can tell whether a child just doesn't want to skip, versus has a developmental issue.

Would you prefer they not test the children at all and just teach them all the same regardless of their needs?

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#4 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 12:47 PM
 
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I'm opposed to merit-based applications for very young kids for preschool or K, because it makes me crazy that somehow skipping (or whatever measure of 'merit' for a very young child they come up with) turns into an academic skill.

But if it's just to assess skill level and teach accordingly, that makes sense to me.

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#5 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
My mom was a kindergarten teacher, she ran those tests. At least in my mom's classroom they are not entrance tests, they are assessment tests - they just see where the child is at the start of kindergarten, developmentally. The teachers see children at all levels and can tell whether a child just doesn't want to skip, versus has a developmental issue.

Would you prefer they not test the children at all and just teach them all the same regardless of their needs?
I agree with this. I can understand why they'd want to do that - here, we have many children at so many different levels - some who are advanced (can read, write, ect), and some without any of those skills yet - this way some kids don't get stuck (bored) waiting on others to catch up, and some kids don't get left behind - it breaks them into groups where their individual needs can be met more accurately.
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#6 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Penelope View Post
I'm opposed to merit-based applications for very young kids for preschool or K, because it makes me crazy that somehow skipping (or whatever measure of 'merit' for a very young child they come up with) turns into an academic skill.

But if it's just to assess skill level and teach accordingly, that makes sense to me.

I agree.

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#7 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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I don't see a problem with the academic stuff....place according to level of knowledge. My two oldest spent the first half of K bored b/c they already knew what was being covered, so they would have been helped by a placement like you describe. My middle son was right on cue and/or needed a little help in some areas, so he would have also benefitted by not being placed with a group of kids who were more knowledgable than him.


I don't see the point of the skipping though....not sure how that will determine anything to help my child in K.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#8 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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The ability to skip has to do with seeing how the brain functions - it's a developmental milestone because both parts of the brain have to work simultaneously to coordinate the movement.
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#9 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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It depends on the motivation.

If the test is used solely to determine the level of development so the child can be taught at their level than I think it is fine. Obviously it is not perfect but I hope they would readjust if Timmy refused to skip for the test but later showed great skipping ability.

If the test is to keep a child from going into a school/class to weed out the less advanced so the school/class has a better looking academic record than that would bother me intensly.

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#10 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by whateverdidiwants View Post
The ability to skip has to do with seeing how the brain functions - it's a developmental milestone because both parts of the brain have to work simultaneously to coordinate the movement.


I always wondered what the deal was with that request.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#11 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 01:31 PM
 
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Assessment tests make a lot of sense. From the OP it sounds like they were doing it to determine who went into which kindy class based on developmental level, not to determine who got into kindergarten at all!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#12 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by whateverdidiwants View Post
The ability to skip has to do with seeing how the brain functions - it's a developmental milestone because both parts of the brain have to work simultaneously to coordinate the movement.
When I taught K this is what we used this part of the assessment for.
However, it was not the only part of the assessment, and I'd be upset as a parent if it was. In our district, the academic stuff wasn't much of an issue (meaning: if your child didn't know the alphabet, no problem... it's our job to teach it in school anyway).
We used more developmental screenings that assessed certain aspects of development that have been "normed" across different populations. I liked our assessment very much. The results were really used to decide if children who were very close to the cutoff date should enter kindergarten. In the end, the decision was the parents' to make. It was only a recommendation. However, the results of the test were usually dead-on correct.

I am not a big fan of many tests, and obviously, there were exceptions (although very few) over the years. Here's the company/institute that created the assessment our district used:

http://www.gesellinstitute.org/
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#13 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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I will just tell you that 30 years after I took that "test" I am still a little traumatized about what they said to me because I could not skip. :
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#14 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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My kids went to an academic (Catholic) kindergarten and they learned most of these things. They also learned to read.

I would not want to send my children to a place like that if the academic skills were required for entrance.
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#15 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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There weren't any skipping tests when my son entered K, just math, reading, writing, alphabet.

When I entered K part of my assessment was drawing. I had to draw a picture of my dad. It was a test of memory and attention to detail. I drew in my dad's moustache, glasses, and even his pocket protector...so I guess I passed that. Heh.

I know crawling and skipping are cognitively linked to reading. Maybe that's why they ask them to skip.

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#16 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
My mom was a kindergarten teacher, she ran those tests. At least in my mom's classroom they are not entrance tests, they are assessment tests - they just see where the child is at the start of kindergarten, developmentally. The teachers see children at all levels and can tell whether a child just doesn't want to skip, versus has a developmental issue.

Would you prefer they not test the children at all and just teach them all the same regardless of their needs?
:

I'll have to go with your MIL and SIL on this one

Those are totally normal assesment tests so the teacher knows who needs attention in what areas.
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#17 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by marybethorama View Post
My kids went to an academic (Catholic) kindergarten and they learned most of these things. They also learned to read.

I would not want to send my children to a place like that if the academic skills were required for entrance.
They aren't. They are ASSESMENT tests, not ENTRANCE tests. There's a huge difference.
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#18 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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My kids' school uses these assessment tests largely to balance classes and to make sure that they've hired the appropriate number of classroom aides. I don't have a problem with it.
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#19 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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I'm probably going to get jumped on for this, but I was a GATE kid, and suffered with boredom in school until I was moved into the special classes.

I have no problem with these assessments. The class can only go as fast as it's slowest student. Keeping the kids in an environment where they'll all learn at their pace is best, IMO.
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#20 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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My daughter had to take an assesment test in April for kindergarten this fall. When I inquired why they did the tests the school secretary (who really does seem to know everything) said that they use the test to determine "at risk" children who would benefit from full-day kindergarten instead of just half-day. The test was part written but mostly oral with a teacher from the school.
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#21 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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I don't mind them so much, as long as they are just used to place kids, and not for other purposes. Kind of a side note, but I thought that kids were taught to write their name and the alphabet in kindergarten? : My now seven year old daughter didn't do any assessments before kindergarten (although I think they did them in the classroom) and they taught her how to write and read in school. She is on grade level and is doing fine.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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#22 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
My mom was a kindergarten teacher, she ran those tests. At least in my mom's classroom they are not entrance tests, they are assessment tests - they just see where the child is at the start of kindergarten, developmentally. The teachers see children at all levels and can tell whether a child just doesn't want to skip, versus has a developmental issue.

Would you prefer they not test the children at all and just teach them all the same regardless of their needs?

judging a child on their one-time ability to skip or recite the alphabet is wrong, imo. so I suppose if the only other option was to NOT test them and "sort it out" after school starts, in a class room setting, on a daily basis, YES... that's my choice.
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#23 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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Assessment is only valid when used appropriately. Assessment should be used to show areas of strength before areas of weakness. It should also be multi-dimesnional, on-going and adaptable to the needs of the child. Yes, there are standardized assessments that use child development norms to find out where the child is currently. Are they always the best picture of where the child is at- no.

In reality, even when the assessment is fairly accurate at showing where the child is functioning, if the teacher does not expand upon that knowledge, then they aren't worth anything.

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#24 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
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I'll have to go with your MIL and SIL on this one

Those are totally normal assesment tests so the teacher knows who needs attention in what areas.

so, it's AOK w/ you for your child to be put in a "different" class based on his/her skipping ability?
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#25 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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Yes exactly to edamommy and brendon's posts.

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#26 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by edamommy View Post
judging a child on their one-time ability to skip or recite the alphabet is wrong, imo. so I suppose if the only other option was to NOT test them and "sort it out" after school starts, in a class room setting, on a daily basis, YES... that's my choice.

But then there is a possibility that a child that needs additional help and would benefit from full day school or additional assistance might go unnoticed. When we were first told that my DD had to take a kind of assessment exam I was against it but after observing her with the teacher testing her I definitely see the purpose. I believe that thet are looking for more than performed skills and abilities but also how the child interacts with the teacher. Teachers seem to have a sixth sense sometimes and can just tell when a child needs a bit of help. It is probably best for the teacher if there is some sorting pre-school starting to make sure that all of the children needing a bit of extra help are not all placed in the same class, overburdening the teacher.
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#27 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 02:58 PM
 
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I think it's silly.
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#28 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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I think it's silly.

I would guess that the parents of the handful of children in my DD's class that were offered full-day kindergarten to help them get the extra attention they need would disagree with the idea that it is silly.
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#29 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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edamommy, I have to say that the irony of you being upset at people judging is truly breathtaking.

On the topic at hand, I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. It's not as though anyone's going to bar your niece from school if she can't skip yet.

I refused to put my foot in paint the first day of kindergarten. I remember it, but I can't say that I didn't reach my full potential because I was labeled or anything.
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#30 of 100 Old 08-27-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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You know, I think the skipping, writing, drawing...all of the stuff on kindergarten assessments provide *information.* And as a lot of you have posted, it truly makes a difference how the info is used. The fact that teachers have preliminary info about kids coming into their classrooms is good--chances are, a child who can't skip but is assessed in a reasonable range isn't going to be referred from the start. However, if there are other issues going on in the assessment, it is information a teacher has when school starts. A decent teacher will watch and wait for more time to go on. There are good tests/assessments (and teachers to match). I just don't have problems with a school wanting to find out more info about an incoming child.
I want my children's schools to know as much as possible about them, and I know that the majority of teachers aren't going to make any final decision about one day of assessment.
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