Five-year-olds put to the test as kindergarten exams gain steam

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posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 10:39 AM
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A true sign of effort to revamp the education system? or yet another political tactic just in time for the elections?
My wife spends an hour everyday with our 5 year old WRT to reading, writing, mathematics etc which is definitely way more than what she learns in the school currently (evident from the homework that she receives).

With school in full swing across the United States, the littlest students are getting used to the blocks table and the dress-up corner - and that staple of American public education, the standardized test.

A national push to make public schools more rigorous and hold teachers more accountable has led to a vast expansion of testing in kindergarten. And more exams are on the way, including a test meant to determine whether 5-year-olds are on track to succeed in college and career.

LINK
edit on 25-9-2012 by hp1229 because: add link




posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 10:47 AM
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Good.

When I was in Kindergarten and even Preschool, I felt like I was at a day care center. Nothing to challenge my mind or even any new facts for those two years. I could read at a 5th grade level in Kindergarten.
edit on 25-9-2012 by DaTroof because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 10:49 AM
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If you want a nation of good little cubicle slaves, you have to train them early. There is no time or no place for creativity, active imaginations, learning how to play nice with others. Nope! Gotta cram data down their throats and train them to regurgitate it on command.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by kozmo
If you want a nation of good little cubicle slaves, you have to train them early. There is no time or no place for creativity, active imaginations, learning how to play nice with others. Nope! Gotta cram data down their throats and train them to regurgitate it on command.


It's the job of the parents to instill such concepts. The instructor is there to instruct.
edit on 25-9-2012 by DaTroof because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by kozmo
If you want a nation of good little cubicle slaves, you have to train them early. There is no time or no place for creativity, active imaginations, learning how to play nice with others. Nope! Gotta cram data down their throats and train them to regurgitate it on command.
Agree upto certain extent however we're at a point where our curriculum sucks big time in comparison to other countries. The news made it sound as if its a Robot training facility but in reality, we're basically uplifting the standards upto certain extent.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by DaTroof
 


Newsflash... I went through Kindergarten OLD SCHOOL and today I own and operate my own company, live in a 3,000 Sq Ft home in a desirable suburb, take annual exotic vacations etc... Know what I mean by OLD SCHOOL? Recess, art, show and tell, sharing time, motor skill exercises etc...

There is no need to militarize these children in roboticized data androids programmed to sit in cubicles all day!



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 11:15 AM
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Kids learn through playing. They learn about rules, how to solve conflicts, and more. That's why so many programs for young children seem like playtime.

As a teacher, I can tell you....standardized tests do more harm than good.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by hp1229
 


I guess that merely depends on your perceptions of "Upgrading our standards".

Look, I get it... I worked in corporate America for over 20 years. From the cubicle, to the office without windows, to the one with a window, to the corner office. I did it all! I worked 60 to 70 hour weeks. I travelled all around the country on business. I rubbed elbows with some of the business and media elite. Made solid 6 figures. All of it!

Want to know what I didn't do? I didn't live! I didn't watch my daughter learn to ride a bike. I wasn't there when she caught her first fish. I missed her first "Holiday" show at school. I wasn't there to watch my wife make her first speech. I didn't LIVE!

Our priorities are f**ked up! All of this assembly line education crap is designed to get these kids in line with the program - that their lives will be nothing but a program. One that they don't run, but that they're employer does. That the government and their employer are necessary for a "Good life". That they should be forever appreicative of the government and their employer for providing for them.

Screw that noise! Teach the essentials and teach LIFE'S essentials. I'm tired of the crap - I opted out and am teaching my child how to opt out. I'm not too worried if she can't manage calculus by first grade!



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 07:49 PM
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Originally posted by kozmo
reply to post by hp1229
 


I guess that merely depends on your perceptions of "Upgrading our standards".

Want to know what I didn't do? I didn't live! I didn't watch my daughter learn to ride a bike. I wasn't there when she caught her first fish. I missed her first "Holiday" show at school. I wasn't there to watch my wife make her first speech. I didn't LIVE!
I work just as hard and do/did everything you mentioned about your profession. However me and my wife do take the time to do the above mentioned activities in addition to many others. We spend a lot of time teaching her the basics as it has gone down a lot. The amount of homework sucks as it is lacking the effectiveness. I certainly do not wish my children to be institutionalized either but that doesn't mean a thing when it comes to schooling. The level and intensity should be maintained until high school. We take them overseas vacation every 2 years just so they learn from other countries/cultures in additon to schooling. I think our curriculum/standards might be fine but I seriously doubt the public education system and the teaching methods/teachers. Its based on quota on the number of students that are required to graduate/pass a grade. Quantiy.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by DaTroof
Good.

When I was in Kindergarten and even Preschool, I felt like I was at a day care center. Nothing to challenge my mind or even any new facts for those two years. I could read at a 5th grade level in Kindergarten.
edit on 25-9-2012 by DaTroof because: (no reason given)


Yes, but could you comprehend what you were reading at the 5th grade level? That's the difference between decoding and true literacy that most people don't understand. You were likely just decoding. It is the very rare child who is literate on the fifth grade level in Kindergarden.

Ex: I sound very convincing reading Spanish novels out loud. I've been told that I sound like a native speaker. However, my Spanish is limited and I don't understand more than around 30% of it.
edit on 25-9-2012 by LeSigh because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
Kids learn through playing. They learn about rules, how to solve conflicts, and more. That's why so many programs for young children seem like playtime.

As a teacher, I can tell you....standardized tests do more harm than good.


I enjoyed a unique opportunity as a Soldier when my child was in kindergarten and 1st grade. I Broke my neck on a HALO jump and after spending some time bedridden it was just a lot of PT appointments and down time. Having to cram my 4 hours or so of work into a 12 hour day was taxing so I volunteered at my kid’s school for 10 hours a week - usually 2 hours a day for "reading groups".

The kids were broken down into those who could read above grade level - anywhere from say 3rd grade (My kid) to one reading 5th grade material. We as volunteers got the groups who could read obviously not being professional educators we facilitated their reading more than anything.

Anyway, sorry I was rambling. What I noticed the problems to be in the classroom was exactly a lack of what you mentioned. The kids had little to no time to just interact with one another - play time (short as it was) was governed by strict rules whereby the kids had to mark their desired activity and only a certain number of kids could be at each "station". Within that station the kids had to play cooperatively not competitively.

There certainly was no time for sharing that I saw or just kids being kids and solving their own problems. If there was any inkling of a conflict the teacher was there licitly split to moderate or intervene and the usual result was to punish both children regardless of who was obviously at fault. Every moment was very structured. Kids didn't have the time or motivation to solve their own issues.

Then there was the "mainstreaming" issue - kids who were violent, disruptive and had no ability to focus more than 3 minutes on a task took 80% of the teachers’ time mitigating or correcting their behavior or at best shielding the students from the "mainstreamed kids" actions.

These kids even got "special rewards" for their positive behavior – i.e. not acting like a total insane and disruptive element in class. While the other kids were punished for minor infractions of the rules with taken recess time etc. The kids could see this was unfair. What it was teaching them was that certain individuals could break the rules and in some cases even be rewarded for it. They had special status under the law.

Exactly what our government is teaching and doing through equal opportunity and hate speech type laws. Minorities and special categories of citizens get special status…while the rest of us are subject to the law. Social indoctrination…

A few even very disruptive actions by these "mainstreamed" were ok in some instances. In the case of one "special kid" as long as the kid didn't need the special response unit to restrain him he actually got stickers at the end of the day when he didn't react violently or hit anyone that day. That was considered his “success” not having to be forcibly restrained.


The remaining kids in the 70 percent of people (most of us) in the curve got about 15% of the teachers attention.
The top tier kids got no little or no attention from the teachers - getting help from the parent volunteers was the best they could hope for. They stagnated in some cases as I saw it as their potential was not being cultivated at home. This was in the State of Maryland BTW.

The best part was the "everyone is a winner" standard of grading and rewarding kids based on their individual improvement over the year.

So if your kid was in kindergarten and could identify some sight words at the beginning of the year and in the end of the year he could identify more sight words than before but not read at grade level he got a "gold award".

While my child who read at 3 grade levels above required got the same award for improving from 3rd to fourth grade in comprehension in kindergarten.

I think when your 6 year old asks the following question it is a telling and distressing indicator of our low standards for education.

“Daddy, I know Timmy can barely read a few words in class when we read out loud most of them 1 syllable or and 1/2 or 3 letter words yet he got the same gold award I did. That doesn’t seem fair to me?"

I had no real answer for her...than to always try your best don't worry about the other kids.

Standardized testing has it problems but we need some kind of metric. Individual improvement could be from moron to idiot that is not objective.

The tests while not ideal should be pass fail on either below, at or above grade level - if above maybe early advancement should take place. If on level then advancement at the regular rate. If below level - they repeat the grade until they get it...

The solution seems really simple to me – then again I am not a professional educator. Would you?



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 11:01 AM
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This is a response I posted in a similar topic and I didn't feel like rewriting it. I posted the originall quote I was remarking to so you can get some idea of where I'm coming from. I attended High School when Maryland (Baltimore) was first starting standardized testing. I still live in Maryland and I hear all about it's problems.

abovetopsecret.com

Originally posted by Krazysh0t

Originally posted by luciddream
reply to post by loam
 


Whats wrong with testing?


A lot. Standardized tests are some of the worst things ever implemented into our education system. They cause a disconnect in the classroom when standardize test time comes around. The teachers have to switch from teaching relevant information to teaching the students the test (not how to figure out the answers) so that their school can get higher scores and more funding. The teachers themselves then get blamed if the test scores are low and in return the gov't lowers the schools funding making the school worse. For the kids its even worse, they are being denied a proper education when their teacher teaches the test to them in lieu of teaching them something relevant. Since the content of the tests is standardized, even if the teacher actually teaches the information on the test, the information is so dry that it is hard to pay attention to it.

Now they want to give these tests to kindergardeners. That's just silly, kindergarden is pre-grade school. These kids aren't really even learning anything that should be tested. Also how are these kids going to fill out the answers? With crayons?



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by hp1229
I work just as hard and do/did everything you mentioned about your profession. However me and my wife do take the time to do the above mentioned activities in addition to many others. We spend a lot of time teaching her the basics as it has gone down a lot. The amount of homework sucks as it is lacking the effectiveness. I certainly do not wish my children to be institutionalized either but that doesn't mean a thing when it comes to schooling. The level and intensity should be maintained until high school. We take them overseas vacation every 2 years just so they learn from other countries/cultures in additon to schooling. I think our curriculum/standards might be fine but I seriously doubt the public education system and the teaching methods/teachers. Its based on quota on the number of students that are required to graduate/pass a grade. Quantiy.


Know how to fix that? Get rid of Teacher's Unions!!! Make teachers accountable. Remove government mandates and allow communities to determine how/what to teach their children.

Militarizing our children into data androids is NOT the answer! Knowledge leads to wisdom and is derived from experience, not standardized tests.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by kozmo

Originally posted by hp1229
I work just as hard and do/did everything you mentioned about your profession. However me and my wife do take the time to do the above mentioned activities in addition to many others. We spend a lot of time teaching her the basics as it has gone down a lot. The amount of homework sucks as it is lacking the effectiveness. I certainly do not wish my children to be institutionalized either but that doesn't mean a thing when it comes to schooling. The level and intensity should be maintained until high school. We take them overseas vacation every 2 years just so they learn from other countries/cultures in additon to schooling. I think our curriculum/standards might be fine but I seriously doubt the public education system and the teaching methods/teachers. Its based on quota on the number of students that are required to graduate/pass a grade. Quantiy.


Know how to fix that? Get rid of Teacher's Unions!!! Make teachers accountable. Remove government mandates and allow communities to determine how/what to teach their children.

Militarizing our children into data androids is NOT the answer! Knowledge leads to wisdom and is derived from experience, not standardized tests.

I agree. The Unions are the biggest hurdles.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by hp1229
 


I'm always amazed at the misconceptions about teachers' unions.

I belong to a union, but I assure you, I can be fired at the drop of a hat. That also includes if my students fail to "make the grade" so to speak.

I'd guess that 95% of the time, unions fight for things that benefit the students as well as the teachers. For example, our union managed to stop the state from increasing student-teacher ratios. That's good for the teacher, because it doesn't increase the workload. It's also good for the students, because research shows that smaller class size directly impacts learning.

Standardized aren't the answer, but there does need to be accountability. Personally, I predict the standardized test will morph into more of a skills-demonstrated, portfolio type of assessment.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 07:39 PM
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reply to post by hp1229
 


I don't understand why they have to keep changing things constantly, you'd think they would just look at the history of schools and what was the most successful period for grades and good education and go back to that.

The U.K. is the same, some schools are failing, the kids don't seem to be learning at the same rate we did when we were younger. the homework they get you know for a fact is lower than what you know as a parent they are capable off. They have no clue what level each child is at which was evident when one of our kids moved schools, one school said they were at a certain level and passed those levels over to the next school, the next school could not believe they had graded them like that and said they were surprised because they were capable of doing much higher and should be in a higher grading and moved them up.

Teachers probably have little time to assess each pupil properly and are understaffed and poorly trained, that is my experience in the u.k. at least. one of our other kids teachers said that they couldn't read, yet we knew differently because we read to them everyday and they read back to us, when my partner challenged it they didn't listen, and then months later a teacher pull my partner aside and said she was shocked about how well they could read. what this made evident to me is that they probably never tried or had very little time to assess him properly.

I think the basics need sorting out rather than early pressure on kids to perform in exams. schools need to have properly trained teachers and be staffed to a good level so they have the time, that would improve things straight away, because then teachers would be able to properly grade pupils to the correct level and have more time to actually teach them something.

I feel the majority of the time they learn more from us in the few hours we have available each day than they do from the rest of the week at school. yes we should help to boost their learning but i thought the whole point of sending them to school was to get an education.





 
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