ERIC Number: ED450926
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Trends in Early Childhood Assessment Policies and Practices.
Shepard, Lorrie A.; Taylor, Grace A.; Kagan, Sharon L.
This study documented current early childhood assessment policies and practices, focusing on changes since the 1988 nationwide survey and on changes occurring in response to Goal 1 of the National Education Goals, performance assessments, and integrated services for young children. Data were collected through telephone surveys and in-depth interviews with the state-level early childhood or elementary coordinator or testing director, as well as Part H and IDEA coordinators, Title I coordinators, Head Start directors, and the Goals 1 contact person. Documentary evidence of policies or legislative mandates was also obtained. The findings, in descending order of prevalence, follow: (1) most states have made an effort to move away from readiness testing and kindergarten retention, and there is a perceived reduction though not elimination of these practices; (2) almost all state-mandated standardized testing for school accountability has been eliminated for children below grade 3; (3) some states and local districts are moving to new assessment forms in the early grades that are more supportive of instruction; (4) misuse of screening instruments for instructional purposes has decreased since 1988; (5) professional training is needed to understand and use new assessment forms; (6) preschool testing is largely driven by mandates for categorical programs; (7) a few states are collecting data to report on progress toward Goal 1; (8) parent involvement was an issue both for identifying children with special needs and because of parent demands for standardized testing; and (9) lack of collaboration and coordination among agencies serving young children continues to be a problem. (Contains 16 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Agency Cooperation, Early Childhood Education, Educational Change, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Elementary School Students, Evaluation Methods, Grade Repetition, National Surveys, Preschool Children, School Readiness, Screening Tests, Standardized Tests, State Surveys, Student Evaluation, Trend Analysis
National Center for Research on Evaluation, CRESST/CSE, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1522. Tel: 310-206-1532.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.