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Schools' Tot Tests to Target Kids at 5


Won't cost the city a dime? What "other programs" were jettisoned? You can bet that the Bloomberg/Klein press office will put the best spin possible on this.

By Yoav Gonen

Calling all baby Einsteins.

City education officials are raising the bar -- and lowering the age -- with an expanded testing program for schoolkids as young as 5, The Post has learned.

Starting in September, schools around the city for the first time ever will be given the option of administering math tests to kids in kindergarten through second grade between two and four times per year.

The "assessments" -- which won't affect a child's promotion chances but have drawn howls of opposition in the past -- will join similar reading assessments that have been available to schools since as early as 1997.

"I think it's ridiculous," fumed Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Queens). "To make 5- to 7-year-olds take a test is not a good assessment of what kids are learning."

But education officials said the program -- which they point out is an optional tool for principals -- comes on the heels of a successful pilot of early-grade testing at 57 schools.

"We got a lot of positive feedback from principals and teachers about how useful it is to be able to track students' progress in math, since in the past they had only been able to do that in reading," said Department of Education spokesman Andrew Jacob.

The initiative won't cost the city a dime, Jacob said, because other programs were jettisoned.

Some parents were skeptical about the new tests.

"I don't know about taking tests so many times per year for those little kids, but I'm not totally against it, either," said Joy Tynes, whose youngsters are enrolling at PS 106 in The Bronx this fall.

yoav.gonen@nypost.com

— Yoav Gonen
New York Post

2009-07-21

http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nypost.com%2Fseven%2F07212009%2Fnews%2Fregionalnews%2Fschools_tot_tests_to_target_k

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