New York’s high-stakes testing regime has now metastasized to kindergarten. Really (boldface mine):
Because of a tough new curriculum and teacher evaluations, 4- and 5-year-olds are learning how to fill in bubbles on standardized math tests to show how much they know about numbers, shapes and order.
Teachers said kindergartners are bewildered. “Sharing is not caring anymore; developmentally, it’s not the right thing to do,” said one Queens teacher, whose pupils kept trying to help one another on the math test she gave for the first time this fall.
“They’re scared. They just don’t understand you’re supposed to bubble in next to the answer.”
I always thought some of the criticisms of testing were overblown, but when you’re screwing up some very basic lessons for small children about how to be a decent human being, you’re doing it wrong. Because you know what we need? More selfish assholes. Onward and upward (boldface mine):
Administering the exams is a complete headache, teachers said. “They don’t know how to hold pencils,” said a Bronx kindergarten teacher whose class recently took the Pearson exam. “They don’t know letters, and you have answers that say A, B, C or D and you’re asking them to bubble in . . . They break down; they cry.”
… But teachers said testing this way is slow and traumatic. Trying to get a proper answer was next to impossible. “We said to color it in with a pencil, so they were taking out crayons,” said a veteran teacher on Staten Island. “I can tell when a student needs help. I don’t have to give them a test.”
This is just nuts. It’s not only useless in terms of evaluation, but actively harmful to children. Someone–or many someones–need to be fired over this. Actually, they should be sealed up in barrels with ravenous weasels–which would be cruel to the weasels.
I can’t even comprehend how any human being could possibly think this is a good idea.