Kindergarten entry assessments—quick tests that are given to incoming students and are intended to help teachers tailor instruction to a child’s needs—are.
But using those tests doesn’t appear to have a significant impact on how well a student is reading or doing math in the spring of the kindergarten year.
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.
A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 2016 edition of Education Week as Testing