“Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How”
Government agencies, Head Start grantees, school systems, and other organizations operating preschool programs should be clear about why they assess preschool students and how the results are used, according to a new National Research Council report on evaluating young children in early-childhood-education programs.
Requested by Congress, the Aug. 4 report says preschool assessments should be part of a larger system of education and care for young children that also includes professional development for teachers and ongoing monitoring. Imposing a No Child Left Behind-style accountability system at the preschool level and making high-stakes decisions on the basis of a preschooler’s assessment results would be inappropriate, said the committee that wrote the report.
A version of this article appeared in the August 13, 2008 edition of Education Week