The Springfield School District has voluntary screening that assesses each child’s individual need for early childhood education services; these assessments are called “Learning check-ups.” The assessments are designed to see if any of the students “need that jump start to be fully prepared for kindergarten.”
“One such tool used locally is the Brigance Early Childhood Screen, administered by teachers trained and certified in its use by the state board.”
“Skills the Brigance assesses for 3- year-olds, for example, include whether a child can state his or her full name and age upon request; recognition of colors and shapes; ability to count out a particular number of objects; ability to identify common objects; ability to copy simple shapes and patterns; gross motor skills, such as walking in a straight line or standing on one foot; and the ability to repeat sentences of varying lengths.”
I think that this can be very beneficial to teachers; it gives them an idea of where each student is. They will then have a starting point.
However, I feel that the assessment should be repeated at the end of the school year to see if the students improved on those skills.
This would give the school district an idea of lesson planning and curriculum effectiveness. It can also be used as an early detection on learning delays that some students might have.
I like that it is on a voluntary basis seeing as some parents might feel threatened that their child is not developing at the rate of another child.
This type of assessment can be beneficial for most preschools, although I’m not totally convinced that it will work with every child, some students are harder to warm up to than others and this might affect the outcome of the test.
In any case, anything that would improve the structure of Kindergarten readiness can’t be all bad, as long as it is done in a way that is encouraging and not demeaning.
Does your District have a test like this?