So it looks like Head Start’s “National Reporting System” may finally bite the dust, according to this Valerie Strauss piece in the Washington (Preschoolers’ Test May Be Suspended). This despite longstanding concerns about the quality of some Head Start programs, the near-impossibility of closing ones that aren’t doing a good job, and the spread of standardized assessments used for formative purposes in the early years.
To me, this occurrence represents not only an obvious cloud over prospects for national testing for K12 education but over the chances for strengthened test-based accountability in NCLB. Sure, the Head Start lobby is stronger in some ways than the K12 lobby, there’s a different set of players in terms of subcommittees and executive agencies, and testing little kids is more viscerally objectionable to some than testing regular elementary school kids. Strauss does a good job giving context and making the implications clear.
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