It is important to distinguish this useful application of readiness assessment from that of testing for eligibility.
Another key issue in accountability-related assessment is the selection of the assessment tools to be used. Additionally, teachers and other staff must be knowledgeable about the assessments they administer and should be able to connect assessment results with classroom practices NAEYC, False positives are less harmful; they may alarm a parent or generate a costly follow-up, but such mistakes are less severe in consequence than missing a child who could benefit from early intervention or medical treatment.
Researchers and advocates have consistently recommended against the use of readiness tests for this purpose National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education, ; Shepard and Smith, Results of assessment should be incorporated into the curriculum and used to individualize instruction.
Guidelines for Administering and Using Child Assessments Appropriately for Various Purposes Organizations concerned with early childhood development and learning have recognized the potential good that can come of child assessment as well as the harm that incorrect uses or interpretations of such assessments can cause.
Some of these documents are listed in Box When conducting observations, teachers must take particular care to avoid allowing any preconceptions or biases color their impressions.
Teachers should provide regular child progress updates to families, hold periodic family-teacher conferences, and share general information about learning goals and expectations for children, by phone or in person during one-to-one conferences or at school open house meetings.
Some children with disabilities may not be included because they need accommodations or because the floor of the assessment is too high.
When conducting systematic observations, teachers should be using their understanding of child development as a filter to identify expected behavior as well as pick up on red flags that indicate a child might be struggling with learning.
What if the program is basically sound but disruptions to financing or staffing led to poor implementation in this particular year? What if the pro- gram is potentially good but investments in needed professional development or curricular materials were denied?
It is now widely recognized that those working in early childhood classrooms and programs should be purposeful in their educational planning and thus need to use assessments for planning and monitoring what children are learning.
Developmentally appropriate assessment systems can provide information to highlight what children know and are able to do. However, in many cases, states are attempting to use the same data for accountability and for progress monitoring purposes.
There are two different types of assessment systems. By the mid-elementary level, children in some school systems may spend several weeks every year completing district and state assessments, and those in troubled schools probably spend even more time in more formal test preparation activities designed to ensure that their high- stakes assessment outcomes are acceptable.
As noted above, the validity of conclusions about account- ability, evaluation, and social benchmarking extends only to groups that are represented in sufficient numbers among those on whom the instruments were normed and among those assessed.
These tests are administered and scored in a standard manner and are often used to assess the performance of children in a program. Furthermore, specifying the purpose of an assessment activity should guide all the decisions that we write about in this volume: Several of these documents agree, for example, on the following important guidelines for individual assessment: We say more about the impor- tance of the larger system in Chapter Identify children who may need additional support and determine if there is a need for intervention or support services.
Here we have included information and resources to inform educators on early childhood assessment programs.
It goes far beyond our charge to discuss in any detail the use of assessments for research purposes. Nonetheless, because researchers of child development have indeed innovated and in many cases refined the tools adopted for use by education practitioners and policy makers, it seems churlish not to acknowledge this important and generative line of work.
Teachers and parents are the primary audiences for assess- ment information collected to guide instruction. Establishing Readiness A widely used purpose of individual assessment has been to establish the readiness of individual children to participate in particular educational programs.
RTI models vary somewhat but common components include the use of multiple tiers of increasingly intense interventions, a problem-solving approach to identifying and evaluating instruc- tional strategies, and an integrated data collection and assessment system to monitor student progress and guide decisions at every level Coleman, Buysse, and Neitzel, Program Supervisor, Even Start Family Literacy and Early Childhood Education Development of this guide is the result of a collaboration among: Ofﬁce of Superintendent for Public Instruction—Even Start Family Literacy, Early Childhood.
Likewise, early childhood education and intervention programs are increasingly being asked to prove their worth.
InCongress requested that the National Research Council conduct a study of developmental outcomes and appropriate assessment of young children. â ¢ Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evalu- ation (and an accompanying extension for English language learners), a position statement promulgated by the National As- sociation for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education ().
Early Childhood Assessment Early childhood assessment is a tool used to gather and provide educators, parents, and families with critical information about a child’s development and growth. In Massachusetts, licensed early childhood programs are now required to include a child assessment component in their programs.
Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How? Committee on Developmental Outcomes and Assessments for Young Children, Catherine E. Snow and Susan B.
Van Hemel, editors. Assessments for Early Childhood Programs Catherine Kelley Saint Petersburg College William J. Wilson once said, “The person who scored well on an SAT will not necessarily be the best doctor or the best lawyer or the best businessman.Download