Ok, I am truly baffled. I just read this piece in EdWeek on NYC's plans to test kindergartners in math. The article says that the city wants to spend $400,000 to test a program that gives kindergartners math tests that can take up to 90 minutes to complete.
As a researcher I can see why we need to test the youngest kids in order to get baseline data. But I'm confused about a few things, including:
1. Exactly what math knowledge are kindergartners supposed to have? I remember counting in kindergarten and that's about it.
2. Why in the world would it take up to 90 minutes to test students on such a limited base of knowledge?
3. What sane person would expect a kindergartner to sit still for 90 minutes to do anything, yet alone take a multiple choice test?
I'm tempted to declare this a sign of the apocalypse, but there's got to be some information missing here. I must be missing something. Right?
Update: Another article is now up on CNN. Also, the commenter kiri8 points out below that kindergartners do a lot more than count -- I stand corrected. But even with the list that they provide, I still doubt the utility of such a long test and now wonder how useful baseline data would even be.