Quality Pre-K Programs

Submitted by RWaxman-Lenz on Mon, 12/13/2004 - 21:57.

Providing childcare and pre-K advantages to more children cannot be considered only an issue of increasing the quantity of centers. Quality matters. The National Association of School Boards of Educations (NASBE) recently issued a policy update addressing this issue and the need to focus on the manner in which we assess young children. The Association states that “there is actually a fairly broad consensus today about many issues related to early childhood testing. For example, there is general acknowledgement that issues of technical adequacy are more difficult to address with young children, who have shorter attention spans and go through periods of fluctuating development. Experts also agree that…no single assessment should be used to rank, label children, or exclude youngsters from educational experiences.�


Questions have been raised about tests that seek to assess only academic levels of pre-K children. The Association explains that new measurement standards “use multiple sources of evidence gathered over time.� An emphasis is placed on reviewing the quality of interactions between children and their teachers. The update recommends that evaluations be made based on “age-appropriate learning goals.� The update also recommends that the state ensure childcare workers be trained in assessing young children.


To read more of “Assessments and Young Children,� the NASBE policy update, click here or go to nasbe.org and click on Policy Update.