Early Testing on the Rise

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Sixteen of 48 states in a recent survey now require evaluations of all students entering school, signaling an upsurge in standardized testing nationwide, a University of Georgia research group reports. States requiring entrance evaluations include: Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Other highlights from the survey of 48 state departments of education, prepared by Gaile Cannella of St. John's University and Judith Reiff of the University of Georgia:

  • Seven other states—Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington—report that more than half of their school districts require screening before students enter school.
  • Five states—Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Oklahoma—require that students be tested either at the end of the kindergarten year or at the beginning of 1st grade.
  • Seven additional states—California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, and New Hampshire—report that more than half of their school districts also use kindergarten exit testing or 1st grade entrance testing.
  • Standardized testing is required in 1st grade in 9 states, in 2nd grade in 9 states, and in 3rd grade in 27 states.

According to the researchers, “Most of the testing has been mandated within the past 10 years, and requires state criterion-referenced or nationally normed instruments, signaling a trend toward standardized assessment that may be becoming widespread.”

Vol. 01, Issue 01, Page 38

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