Trib article on Kindergarten Test prep
Interesting article today in the Trib about parents who prep their kids for CPS testing for Kindergarten.
Some interesting points that may or may not have been covered in previous articles in on the topic:
“It’s just yet another example that the country has gone test crazy,” said Robert Schaeffer, public education director for FairTest, a national nonprofit that advocates for other methods of assessing young children. “This sort of insanity testing produces test coaching for little kids and gaming of the system by parents and others to figure out what’s on the test and get their kid a leg up. We’re not letting kids be kids, and we’re making them into little Einsteins.”
As kindergarten is an entry year for most of those programs, many parents are hiring private tutors, researching tests used in other large urban school systems, finding age-appropriate questions online and doing whatever else it takes to get their kids on the right track early.
The article mentions a mom who hired a former Montessori teacher to help prep her child. It notes that there are no formal test prep companies for young kids in the city but there are some specific resources mentioned in the article:
-Testingmom.com (been meaning to mention this site lately)
-Tutor Lemi Erinkitola started a tutoring company for kids as young as 3, preparing children, mostly on the South Side
As usual, one of the key questions is whether a school district should be revealing the test that’s used (like NYC does) or whether the shroud of secrecy should continue in Chicago. And of course, whether it makes sense/is fair to prep kids.
Now interestingly, the Trib has published some sample questions (provided by testingmom.com – I think I’m seeing how this article originated now…) I assume these are highly useful if you live in NYC but probably can’t hurt for Chicago parents to take a peek to get an idea of what type of questions *might* be on the test.
And finally, a nice article on the difference between Classical and Gifted testing and some nice tips on how parents can work some of the “practice questions” into their kids’ day without blatantly “cramming.”