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Testing Kindergarteners In Washington State?

From Diane Ravitch:

A reader shares this information with us. The state will administer assessments to children in kindergarten but parents have the right to opt out. Will the parents know? If you live in Washington, make sure you inform parents of their right to opt out their children from this unnecessary assessment. Let the children play.

So here in the Pacific North West, our legislature just finished a special session and they’re now into the third.
One part of our legislature, the House, just passed Washington HB 1491…”Expand Early Childhood Education Across the State” and has nice fine print related to testing kindergarteners and 3-4 year-olds. That’s right. TESTING. FOR KINDERGARTENERS. Section 2, [2][a] “Improve short-term and long-term educational outcomes for children as measured by assessments including, but not limited to, the Washington kindergarten inventory of developing skills in RCW 28A.655.080.
The only saving grace? RCW 28A.150.315 is in force WITH THE EXCEPTION OF STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN EXCUSED FROM PARTICIPATION BY THEIR PARENTS OR GUARDIANS. That’s right. The K-12 public schools will now HAVE to administer the test with all the attendant costs and time suck but, as a parent, you won’t be hearing how you can opt-out. Lots of more work to do. Then again, I’m so pissed about it that it gives me the energy I need to fight, fight, fight.


Anonymous said…
WaKIDS isn't a test, it's teacher observation of whole child developing skills, coupled with meetings with parents so they can partner around their children's development.

It has 3 components: family connection; whole child observational assessments; early learning collaboration.

It is about understanding where students are starting from and being ready to meet them there.

It was first piloted ... 5 years ago, maybe? It's been rolling out statewide along with full-day kindergarten and has been in several Seattle schools for a few years now-
- Ramona Hattendorf
I didn't say WaKIDS was a test. It's an assessment but again, it is not clear what the State is saying here.
Anonymous said…
The state is in fact referring to WaKIDS. In my opinion, it's the only state driven authentic assessment that helps improve instruction.
Anonymous said…
I don't know any kindergarten teacher who likes WAKids.K teachers have always assessed incoming students, but the WAKids assessment is excessive. Call it a "whole child developing skills" teacher observation if you want, but what it really is is an excessive, time-consuming assessment that most, if not all, K teachers do not find helpful or worth-while. Total overkill!

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