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Assessment in Early Childhood. Welcome. Life is full of “trick” questions. 1: Do they have a 4th of July in England? Yes No 2: How many birthdays does the average man have? 1 66 72. 3: Some months have 31 days; how many have 28? 12 1 6

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Life is full of “trick” questions...

1: Do they have a 4th of July in England?

Yes No

2: How many birthdays does the average man have?

1 66 72

3: Some months have 31 days; how many have 28?

12 1 6

4: How many outs are there in an inning?

2 3 6

5: Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow\'s sister?

Yes No

6: If there are 3 apples and you take away 2, how many do you have?

1 2 3

7: A doctor gives you three pills telling you to take one every half hour. How many minutes would the pills last?

60 90 120

8: A farmer has 17 sheep, and all but 9 die. How many are left?

17 8 9

9: How many animals of each sex did Moses take on the ark?

1000 499 0

10: How many two cent stamps are there in a dozen?
6       9       12

  • Understand the purposes of assessment in early childhood
  • Understand different meanings of the term assessment
  • Understand the history of tests and measurement in early childhood
  • Develop an awareness of issue in testing young children

“Assessment is the process of gathering information about children from several forms of evidence, then organizing and interpreting that information.”

child development
Child development
  • Developmental change in children is rapid.
  • If the development is not normal, the measurement and evaluation procedures use are important in making decisions regarding appropriate intervention services during infancy and preschool years.
why assess
Why assess????
  • See what the child has achieved…
  • Can be used for diagnosis
  • For intervention if there are developmental delays
  • To see if there is a need for special services
  • For research
assessment concerns in early childhood
Assessment Concerns In Early Childhood
  • Developmental change in young children is rapid
  • There is a need to assess whether development is progressing normally
  • Assessment methods must be matched with the level of mental, social, and physical development at each stage
appropriate assessment
Appropriate Assessment

1. Assessing to promote children’s learning and development

2.Identifying children for health and social services

3. Monitoring trends and evaluating programs and services

4. Assessing academic achievement to hold individual students, teachers, and schools accountable



"Assessment is the process of observing, recording, and otherwise documenting the work children do and how they do it, as a basis for a variety of educational decisions that affect the child. Assessment is integral to curriculum and instruction."

(National Association for the Education of Young Children & National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education, 1990)

assessment leaders
Assessment leaders
  • Charles Darwin, Stanley Hall and Lawrence Frank were leaders in the study of the child development.
  • Hall developed extensive methods of studying children
  • Dewey (Hall’s student) advocated educational reform that affected the development of educational programs for young children.
standardized testing
Standardized Testing

In the twentieth century Americans,

educators, welcomed the opportunity to

use precise measurements to evaluate learning.

The tests grew out of the need to sort, select or otherwise make decisions about both children and adults.

standardized testing1
Standardized Testing

The work of American psychologists made

testing a science.

  • Terman at Stanford University: Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scale – a method of identifying intellectually deficient children for their placement in special education programs
  • Edward Thorndike designed measures to evaluate achievement in reading, mathematics, spelling, and language ability.
standardized testing2
Standardized Testing
  • Tests grew out of the need to sort, select, or make decisions about both children and adults
  • Objective tests were developed to determine the level and pace of instruction; and the grouping of students without regard for socioeconomic class
standardized testing3
Standardized Testing

After World War II: the demand for dependable and

technically refined tests grew and,

  • testing became more centralized which improved the quality of tests and the establishment of standards for test design
  • giant corporations grew that could assemble the resources to develop, publish, score, and report the test results
legislation for young children
Legislation for Young Children

The need for measurement strategies and

tests to evaluate federal programs led to

the improvement of existing tests and the

development of new tests to accurately

evaluate program success and individual

child progress.

legislation for young children1
Legislation for Young Children
  • Head Start and the War on Poverty
  • Public Law (PL) 94–142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act—IDEA):
legislation for young children2
Legislation for Young Children

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees all children with disabilities

  • the right to an appropriate education in a free public school
  • placement in the least restrictive learning environment
  • the use of nondiscriminatory testing and evaluation of each child
legislation for young children3
Legislation for Young Children

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

  • tests were no longer adequate for children with special needs
  • classroom teachers had to learn techniques to identify students with disabilities and to determine how to meet their educational needs
individuals with disabilities education act idea
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA required that:

  • a team is used to identify and place students with disabilities
  • the team screens, tests the individual child
  • the team develops an individual educational plan (IEP) for the individual child
concerns about testing young children the least restrictive environment lre
Concerns about testing young children:The least restrictive environment (LRE)
  • As often as possible the child should be placed with children developing normally, rather than in a segregated classroom for students in special education - MAINSTREAMING
  • The ability of teachers to meet the needs of students with and without disabilities simultaneously in the same classroom is still debated
legislation for young children4
Legislation for Young Children

PL 99–457. Federal Preschool Program and the Early Intervention Program

  • Federal Preschool Programs extend the right of children with disabilities to children, ages 3-5
  • In participating states Early Intervention Programs must now provide services for all infants and toddlers (birth to age 2) with developmental delays
pl 101 576 americans with disabilities act ada
PL 101–576 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • all early childhood programs must be prepared to serve children with special needs
  • facilities and accommodations for young children, including outdoor play environments, must be designed, constructed, and altered to meet the needs of young children with disabilities.
pl 101 576 americans with disabilities act ada1
PL 101–576 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • INTEGRATION OR INCLUSION began – all young children learn together with the goal the individual needs of all children will be met.
individuals with disabilities education improvement act of 2004
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004
  • the NCLB Act of 2001 required that states must test at last 95 percent of their students with disabilities
  • IDEA required special education students to participate in state tests and states were to report results of those tests to the public
  • IDEA was aligned with the requirements of NCLB
  • Response to Intervention – process involved providing intervention services for students.
  • Students who did not respond could be referred for special education services.
  • Students in private schools would be provided services through the public schools with IDEA of 2004
no child left behind act of 2001
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
  • Integrate scientifically based reading research into comprehensive instruction for young children
  • Set and monitor adequate yearly progress
  • Issue annual report cards on school performance and statewide test results
  • Implement annual, standards-based assessments in reading and math for grades 3 to 8 by 2005–2006
  • Assure that all classes are taught by a qualified teacher by 2005–2006

What does each bullet mean? Can you give an example?

no child left behind act of 20011
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
  • Look at the report card...
  • What components are connected to NCLB?
no child left behind nclb
No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

All states are required to administer tests

developed by the state and to set and

monitor adequate yearly progress.

concerns about no child left behind nclb provisions children with special needs
Concerns about No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Provisions Children With Special Needs
  • “Highly qualified teachers must be hired”

states can create a state standard of evaluation for special education teachers

  • States can still use other methods of diagnosing children with learning disabilities
  • School districts are required to set aside a percentage of their federal funds for services for private school students
continuing effort to advocate appropriate assessments
Continuing effort to advocate appropriate assessments
  • Standardized tests and other measures used inappropriately to determine admission, promotion and retention of young children
  • Fairness of existing tests to evaluate culturally and linguistically diverse children
  • Early and appropriate assessment for children with disabilities
concerns about testing young children with cultural and language differences
Concerns about testing young children with cultural and language differences
  • Appropriate measurement and evaluation strategies that will enhance children’s potential for achievement
  • The fairness of existing tests for children of diverse backgrounds serves as an indicator of the need for alternative assessment strategies for young children.
  • How appropriate are tests and assessments in terms of the diversity of these young children? Is there bias?
concerns about testing young children with disabilities
Concerns about testing young children with disabilities
  • Assessment should be based on the current understanding of development and better indicate what learning environments will best provide intervention services for the child’s optimal development.
  • Assessments are based on multiple sources of information that will reflect the child’s capacities and competencies
    • play-based assessment and
    • structured tests are a part of an integrated approach
components of ayp
Components of AYP
  • Percentage of students who must score proficient or above in reading and math
  • Percentage of students who must participate in reading and math testing
  • Percentage of students who must be in attendance and graduate during the school year
4 ways to meet ayp
4 Ways to meet AYP
  • Each subgroup meets or exceeds it’s target
  • Meeting the “Safe Harbor” provision
  • Meeting or exceeding the two year average
  • Meeting the growth measure standard
alternative assessment
Alternative Assessment

Multidimensional approach that uses may sources of information.

Includes work samples, observation results and teaching report forms.

authentic and performance assessment
Authentic and Performance Assessment

Rather than being narrowly defined as testing,

assessment should link curriculum and

instruction with program objectives for young


Authentic and performance assessments are

used that benefit the child, parents, and

caregivers and teachers.

authentic assessments
Authentic Assessments

Allows the teacher to observe progress;

  • have a connection to the real world
  • emerge from the child’s accomplishments
  • include the child’s natural interactions with materials or play activity
Authentic, ongoing assessment of children in any early childhood program is the key to planning appropriate learning experiences that respond to children\'s individual interests, learning styles, and abilities.
performance assessments
Performance Assessments
  • Allows the child to demonstrate what is understood through the performance of a task or activity
  • Provides information about the child’s development and accomplishments in all domains
Why has the child study movement been the major resource for understanding child development?

Why were standardized tests developed for Head Start? How were they used?

Why were standardized tests developed as a result of legislation for young children with disabilities? How were they used?

What are some of the weaknesses in assessments of young children with disabilities? How can these difficulties be overcome?

How is authentic assessment different from assessment using standardized tests?

most important word
Most important word…

"Assessment is the process of gathering information about children in order to make decisions about their education. Teachers obtain useful information about children\'s knowledge, skills, and progress by observing, documenting, and reviewing children\'s work over time. Ongoing assessment that occurs in the context of classroom activities can provide an accurate, fair, and representative picture of children\'s abilities and progress." (Dodge, Jablon, & Bickart, 1994, p. 181)

In your opinion, what is the MOST IMPORTANT WORD? And justify why.

homework http www ncrel org sdrs areas issues students earlycld ea500 htm