If you believe, as I do, that standardized testing is now being misused and overused, you will be shocked to read about New York City’s latest plan to ration admission to programs for gifted 4-year-olds.
If you wanted to satirize the misuse of testing, you would come up with a plan like the one in NYC. Little children will take a test, be rank ordered, and only those who score 90% or higher are sure to win a coveted seat. Sorry, an 89% won’t make it.
When you read the editorial linked here, you may momentarily wonder if you stepped through the looking glass and into the bizarro world of testing gone mad..
Anxious parents are paying for test prep and tutoring for 3-year-olds to get ready for the big test. Children who should be playing and romping in the park are under pressure to get the right answer.
The New York Daily News usually lauds everything that comes out of the NYC DOE because of its fealty to Mayor Bloomberg, but this latest plan was too far-fetched even for the mayor’s most fervent advocates:
The News wrote:
“Preposterously, this method tries to make a superexact measurement out of completely nonscientific evaluation. Worse, consider this example:
“Sally and Billy are both 4, but Sally is one day older than Billy. They take the test on the same day. “Both get 28 questions right out of 30. Both wind up in the 99th percentile.
“But, because he is ever so slightly younger than Sally, Billy is viewed as more advanced. He gets a higher composite than Sally, and he beats her out.”