The findings come from a federally funded report from the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands. The researchers gathered longitudinal data on children who started school in the 2010-11 school year, and their schools. They found that of the schools that were using these tests, 93 percent were doing so in order to individualize instruction. Forty-one percent used them to help create class assignments, nearly a quarter of schools did so to advise parents on delaying kindergarten entry, and 16 percent used them as screening tools for children younger than the kindergarten cutoff. Regardless of the reason, assessment use didn’t connect to a child’s academic performance.
The new recommendations for children’s media use acknowledge that some media exposure can have educational value for children as young as 18 months, but it should be high-quality programming—the AAP specifically referenced Sesame Street, and children’s programming provided by PBS. But parents should watch those programs with their children, not use the television as a parking spot for infants and toddlers. And families should still prioritize “unplugged” playtime for young children, the AAP said. For children under the age of 18 months, media use is still discouraged other than video-chatting.
The report also offers recommendations on the use of e-books.
A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 2016 edition of Education Week as Early Childhood