Wednesday, January 10, 2007

To Test or Not to Test?

Along with the school's monthly calendar and last month's art project that had been hanging on the bulletin board, this week I got a flyer explaining about the kindergarten-readiness testing that I would have the privilege of paying forty-five dollars for. If I want to, that is, as it is optional.

My first reaction was forty-five bucks! What the hell kind of testing are they going to be doing for a preschooler? Upon further reading, it is being conducted by grad students from a local University, and the price goes towards their foundation or some such thing. It still seems a bit steep to me. Am I the only cheap-ass out there?

Then I thought, my kid is in freakin' preschool! Does he really need an assessment test for kindergarten? Have things gotten so out of hand that we are assessing four year olds? That seems a bit premature to me. I was thinking that his teacher should be the one to explain his aptitude and progress to me during our upcoming parent/teacher conference. Not some person who is only going to see him for a short duration on one day. The rebel in me is whispering that we as a society are going a wee bit far in the test-and-results-oriented direction and let the child color outside the damn lines and not be considered progressively challenged.

Is it just me?

We have already made the decsion not to put him in kindgergarten next year, and even the school he is presently attending does not allow anyone to enter kinder who is not five as of Sept. 1 of next year. Which is not Mr. Personality. I happen to agree with this philosophy, so he will most likely attend a five day preschool program next year.

So, any test results would be for my own edification, and I would like to think as his mother that I have a pretty good grasp of his capabilities without having to pay some stranger forty five dollars.

But then the other side of me really wants to know how he measures up in a "standardized" sort of way, not just counting on my rather prejudiced motherly viewpoint.

And now I'm going to ask you what you think.

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