Monday, May 4, 2015

Should there be High Stakes Testing for Kindergarteners???

Do you have a child in kindergarten? Or one beginning kindergarten in September? 

Either way, you might want to schedule to participate in this information session sponsored by the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Franklin Education Association (the union representing Franklin's teachers).

Child care will be provided. Register in advance to ensure you have coverage.

While good teaching practice involves assessment of students, the TS Gold Assessment given in Kindergarten is extensive and unwarranted. This test has put a great deal of stress on both students and educators and takes a tremendous amount of time away from good teaching practice. 
Teachers using TS Gold process have to spend precious class time documenting the personal achievement of students and uploading it to a private companies website. 
For more information about the impact of this assessment, please come to a meeting sponsored by the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Franklin Education Association to be held May 12, 2015. 
This meeting will happen at the Alumni Restaurant (Function Room) 391 East Central Street Franklin MA from 6:00 to 8:00 Pm. Childcare will be provided. 
Please email to RSVP that you will be attending.

What is TS Gold?

From the MA DESE webpage:
Teaching Strategies GOLD is an assessment system for children from birth through kindergarten designed to help teachers: observe and document children’s development and learning over time; support, guide, and inform planning and instruction; identify children who might benefit from special help, screening, or further evaluation; and report and communicate with family members and others.  Teaching Strategies GOLD also enables to teachers to (1) collect and gather child outcome information as one part of a larger accountability system and (2) provide reports to administrators to guide program planning and professional development opportunities.  Teaching Strategies GOLD addresses the following Developmental Domains: (1) Social-Emotional, (2) Physical, (3) Language, (4) Cognition, (5) Literacy, (6) Mathematics, (7) Science and Technology, (8) Social Studies, (9) The Arts, and (10) English Language Acquisition.

screen grab of MA GOV webpage on the TS Gold assessments
screen grab of MA GOV webpage on the TS Gold assessments

Franklin is currently assessing only 2 of the domains listed as part of a pilot. The individual assessments take the kindergarten teachers away from time spent teaching the class. The State has not yet decided what will happen with the program next year. The more people know about the program, the better the decision should be to either continue or discontinue the assessments.

For additional information on this program, explore the state webpage

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