Maryland Teacher Complaints May Lead to Test Suspension
The Maryland State Education Association wants the Common Core aligned Kindergarten Readiness Assessment test suspended, arguing that teachers lose too much instructional time administering the computer based tests and are not receiving helpful data to improve teaching and learning.
Betty Weller, president of the teachers union, said the MSEA received several complaints from some of the 3,500 teachers who administered the tests for the first time this fall. Teachers complained about lost instructional time and issues with technology.
The union hopes the state will freeze the testing until the issues surrounding the implementation of the assessment are resolved.
States across the nation are moving towards using tests to measure kindergartners’ knowledge in areas such as number recognition, letters, sounds and syllables to assess the needs of the students as they arrive in the K-12 public school systems.
According to the Education Commission of the States, the kindergarten readiness assessment is mandated in at least 25 states.
Maryland has administered kindergarten assessments for a decade, but this year the state overhauled the tests to align with Common Core State Standards. The new test involves one-on-one interaction between teachers and students and was created to assess kindergartners in language, literacy, math, science, social studies and physical well-being.
The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is a powerful test that has a lot of potential to provide helpful information to our country. The KRA is in its pilot year; after another year or two, I anticipate administering the test will become a smooth process for teachers. If the teachers union gets its way and the KRA is suspended, I hope the issues surrounding the KRA are quickly resolved.