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Should kindergarteners ever have to worry about "failing"?

Came across this article today and I have to say I find it depressing:

I remember kindergarten. Sure, we learned stuff. A lot of what we learned had to do with sharing and taking turns, along with, of course, colors and numbers and days of the week. But we had fun while learning, and most kids were more than happy to return the next year for first grade. With these new developing attitudes about testing in kindergarten, I'd be very afraid my child would be burnt out by the third grade. What is the point of all this testing, really? Is it really helping them learn? The educators quoted in the article sure don't seem to think so. What do you think?

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Asked by golfgirl822 at 4:01 PM on Sep. 2, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (5)
  • i don't know where you live but in california is very competitive my daughter is in kindergarten for the first time this year, and i have many friends, and family members who have had there children repeat kindergarten ...there isn't offical state testing but now when kids go to kinder they have to know all there letters, sounds, and numbers to daughter had an interview before she started school where the teacher tested her on all these things...she had to get at least a 70% to be able to start this year (she passed with flying colors....but i have been working with her everyday for the past year) . teachers don't want to teach anymore its up to us parents to do december my daughter has to memorize 20 0f 40 sight words,.there is a long list....get ready...BUT my girl loves it....if i ever tell her that we aren't going to do "homework" she gets upset....but i do get overwhelmed i dont want her 2 fail!

    Answer by abbyg at 4:22 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • Standards aren't obviously the same throughout the state. We are in CA too - and kids went into my son's K class not knowing more than 3 letters. The counting to 20, learning the alphabet, etc are all things that he was taught the first half of the year (he was bored because he did know it!)

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:58 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • I think there's a middle ground. I do think that kids need to learn, and that there are standards (and benchmarks) to check to make sure they are learning. When there wasn't, there were too many kids falling through the cracks educationally because the focus was all on socialization. But, I think that there is so much emphasis on testing, meeting these benchmarks, and etc that we've gone too far the other way.

    What I did with my kids when they were little is we made a game out of learning. Then, when they did start taking standardized tests (they were in elem. but not kindergarten), they really started getting freaked out - their teachers were saying things like "if you don't do well on the test, you're going to fail", and "this test is SO important", etc.


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:05 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • cont

    My kids started to really stress it. So, what I did was I explained to them that they are NOT going to fail if they don't "pass the test" - that if they "fail the test" (I hated that phrase with it, but it was one that had been used with it, so I went with it), then they are already failing that grade, the test just lets the bosses of the teachers know that. Then I told them that honestly, the tests weren't about the KIDS at all - the tests were really to see if the TEACHERS and the SCHOOLS were doing what they were supposed to do, and were teaching them the right stuff.

    That seemed to help and they stopped stressing them. Now they're in hs and they still like school and they don't stress the standardized tests, and, because that pressure is off them, ironically they've always done well on them. (with one exception)


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:09 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • cont My ds, when he was in middle school, really really hated his new school, and he really really REALLY hated his English teacher. (I have to admit, I didn't care much for her, either, but...) Apparently, my ds and a couple of his friends decided to "do bad on purpose" as he told me later (after the test but before we got the scores back) on one of the parts, because they wanted her to get a bad grade.

    We talked about integrity and how, since he didn't do it for real, then he got to write some essays for ME, so that I could see if he was learning or not. He hasn't done anything like that since (he's now in 11th grade). He still doesn't stress the tests though.


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:15 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

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