Is Head Start working to prepare low-income children for school? Congress is expected to suspend testing of preschoolers in the federal program, “amid complaints from early childhood experts that the exam is developmentally inappropriate and poorly designed,” reports the Washington Post.
Since 2003, children have been evaluated by their teachers to determine if their Head Start programs are building skills they’ll need in kindergarten. Critics say the test was adopted without sufficient field testing.
On Early Stories, Richard Colvin gives the anti-test case without saying he agrees.
The Head Start establishment doesn’t want to make preparing students for school its priority, writes Checker Finn of Education Gadfly. So critics are going after the test — “more like a 15-minute oral interview” — of kids headed for kindergarten.
Maybe the test isn’t good enough and the suspension will be lifted when a better test is developed. But I hate to see a massive federal program with no accountability for results.