Tuesday, October 3, 2017
SLICE OF LIFE
I love kindergarteners.
I do not love testing kindergarteners.
Take last week, for instance.
I am administering a state-mandated, computer-based test to one of my five-year-old friends. The test measures students' understandings in things like phonemic awareness, listening comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. And it's timed.
F was about five minutes into the test. I was standing about six feet behind him, and about five minutes into the test, he turned around to talk to me.
"Dr Carol, did you know it was my birthday this weekend?"
I tell him I didn't, but that I can't wait to hear about it. After he finishes taking his timed test.
He turns back to the test, but a few seconds later, he has more news.
"And did you know I had a Ninja Turtle party. And M and D and W came. But Joe didn't came."
I try to be polite and attentive as I redirect F again.
"And I had a bouncy castle. It was the one with the Ninja Turtles. The ones coming out of the sewers."
Once again, I try to be politely attentive as I redirect my friend's attention. He lasts about five seconds this time.
"And I had Ninja Turtle cake. And it was so good. I'm going to ask my mom if there is any more. And I can bring it to you.:
I assure him that I bet his cake was beautiful. And that it's ok if he didn't bring me any. I can wait until his next birthday, when he turns seven.
And all the while, the clock on the standardized test is ticking and ticking and ticking.
And I'm wondering how anyone could possibly think this could be a good measure of this little guy's literacy skills.