Standardized Testing: Is Kindergarten Too Early?

Lesly Merino, Staff Writer

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As a five year old in Kindergarten, we are expected to learn our ABC’s, count our numbers, differentiate shapes and colors. It’s our basic understanding and information in order to get through the upcoming grades. Well, you won’t believe this! Kindergarten classrooms are changing, teachers are spending more time in their classrooms on activities that are associated with testing. They are spending 20 to 30 minutes everyday on those activities according to Anna Weinstein from an article, “Testing in Kindergarten: The Realities and the Dangers”. Superintendents and principals are changing their perspectives on testing and are agreeing that testing should be installed at a young age in order to fulfill and exceed the standardized testing requirements that are taken. Starting in third grade.

Children in Kindergarten are very young and their minds are just being exposed to different subjects such as math, english language arts, science and even social skills within the class. Their minds are at an early developmental stage and are slowly but surely learning their basic skills and information. So, when we bring standardized testing to the classrooms, they are instantly expected to acquire testing skills and handle tests. As a kindergartener, this could be very stressful. Which is very understandable! They are just starting their school career and “children are very subject to how they feel, if they’re hungry, for instance, grumpy or sleepy, their test scores will be affected” Almon states from an article, “Testing in Kindergarten: The Realities and the Dangers”. Now, you may be thinking that it is understandable that educators want students to be their best and exceed the requirements of standardized testing. Regardless, it is what they are supposed to do in order for the children to grow as knowledgeable students and improve in their school career. BUT, it should not be initiated in Kindergarten, at least.

When one thinks of a regular Kindergarten classroom, we think of playtime, recess, naptime, arts and crafts activities and generally interacting with one’s peers. Well, we should keep it that way! Nowadays, educators are cutting down recess and playtime, not having nap time, and spending less time on entertaining hands-on activities. All because they are being required to spend more time on activities that help out the students with their standardized testing skills. In a way, they are limiting the students to other opportunities for them to explore their interests at a young age such as painting, arts and crafts, and much more. They are being put into a “bubble” and installing a mentality that they should always be thinking of standardized testing. Now, don’t get me wrong, the testing skills and mentality are very important and critical to our school careers. It is something we will always encounter. But, they should not be installed and brought upon them in Kindergarten where kids are only 5 years old and their greatest concern ranges from when will recess time be to when their next coloring activity will be. Think about it… if more teachers are bringing standardized testing into classrooms, children will be under stress starting Kindergarten! It is not necessary for children so young to be stressed about their grades and scores. They are just starting off in school and are adapting to the environment overall. Kindergarteners should be happy, stress-free, and excited about their days in school. Let’s keep it that way!