'Development Assessments Are Not Tests'

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To the Editor:

Regarding the blog post "New Race to Top Stresses Pre-K Tests, Early Ed. Program Ratings," (edweek.org, July 1, 2011), I can find nowhere in the proposed criteria for Early Learning Challenge grant applicants the requirement for states to “craft appropriate standards and tests.” While I understand “tests” is a good hot-button word to use in an article and headline to attract attention, I would hope that Education Week understands that most early-childhood-development assessments are not “tests,” in the traditional sense of that word. Most states and high-quality early-childhood programs utilize developmentally appropriate assessments to develop and implement a curriculum that may then be individualized to meet each child’s needs and developmental level. This concept of assessment, instead of test, would be a much more accurate description of what the U.S. Department of Education has proposed. In assessing Education Week blogs and choices of words, I recommend that an education periodical strive for accuracy, not sensationalism.

Alan Guttman
Washington, D.C.
The writer is the data and monitoring systems manager for a District of Columbia Head Start program.

Vol. 30, Issue 36, Page 44

Published in Print: July 13, 2011, as 'Development Assessments Are Not Tests'
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