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    #249686 - 04/25/22 06:10 AM Experiences with Early Kindergarten Entry tests?
    Baby Rocket JJ Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/11/22
    Posts: 2
    Trying to get DS4 into kindergarten early but our district—and most others in this area—have some rather fantastic requirements. Essentially, a young child has to be more than ready for first grade... to enter kindergarten:
    • Child must take an END-OF-kindergarten-year math, reading, and social-emotional assessment
    • Test is administered in early June, 3+ months before K even STARTS
    • All test scores must be in the >90+ percentile

    In other words, kid has to do better than virtually every other child who already FINISHED kindergarten, long before kindergarten even begins.

    Oh, and they say no preparation is needed. Although DS is more than ready to start K and would definitely pass the tests even today, I'm not sure about the 90+ percentile thing without any preparation.

    Do you know anything about these tests? FastBridge earlyReading and earlyMath (or similar)?

    #249710 - 04/28/22 01:32 PM Re: Experiences with Early Kindergarten Entry tests? [Re: Baby Rocket JJ]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 4034
    My experience spans many decades, so some of it is likely not applicable to your situation, with none of it more recent than for our college student. But fwiw...

    The standard for early entry to kindy historically (as in, since the mid 1900s) really has been that students do need to be in the 90+ %ile--often even higher than that (95 and 99 are both common). Keep in mind that this could be the first formal school experience for a child, so there may not be substantive data on their actual ability to navigate a school day, peer relationships, on-demand tasks, executive functions/self-regulatory skills. The testing has to be a reasonably robust predictor of their likelihood of success on all dimensions of K, but not all of them can be tested. Having exceptionally strong skills in the domains that can be assessed can be one way that districts try to maximize the probability that the child will be able to manage the aspects that are not assessed, especially if they turn out to be not as strong. Is it possible that there's an excess of caution here? Perhaps, but if there is, it's not original.

    As to the assessments, there is really no way to know what they are using if they don't tell you. There are many possible options. Certainly the district might use FastBridge, but since that is designed for screening and progress monitoring, that might not be ideal. It's challenging, of course, to find instruments that are appropriate for this use in children who are very young and may have varying levels of prior exposure to instruction or assessment. The note that no preparation is needed suggests that it's probably an individually-administered assessment (rather than an automated computer based test), so likely something more like the WIAT-4, KTEA-3, TERA-4/TEMA-3, or even just their end-of-year assessment out of the district's reading and math curriculum. The last would be the most straightforward in terms of performance in the district, but also the least likely to have percentiles. Or it could be something like the NWEA MAP, which is computer-adaptive.

    When we early-entered our DC to first grade (skipped K), the private school administered their standard K/1 screening instrument, but used the criteria for 1st grade entry. Eons ago, when I was early-entered to K, the district used a very labor-intensive process involving two separate individually-administered cognitive assessments, a comprehensive individually-administered achievement test, and a trial period prior to the school year starting. The equivalent today would be like taking a WPPSI-IV, a SB5, a KTEA-3 and attending K for a few weeks, all prior to making a decision on early entry.

    And my experience with evaluating children for early entry to K (or preschoolers in general) has been that they really do not need preparation. The preparation is all on the part of the evaluator, who needs to be skilled with testing small children, and interpreting the resulting data. Every district has access to staff or contract evaluators who work with their preschoolers, since federal child-find requires this function.

    Edited by aeh (04/28/22 01:43 PM)
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #249732 - 05/05/22 04:48 AM Re: Experiences with Early Kindergarten Entry tests? [Re: Baby Rocket JJ]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5215
    Baby Rocket JJ, in the coming years you may find that many educational systems create a rather hostile learning environment for gifted children. The criteria you mention for early entry into kindergarten does not appear designed to meet a child's needs for the right "fit" and yet this type of criteria is not uncommon.

    A child meeting the listed requirements for early entry to kindergarten would already meet the end-of-year requirements, approximately one year early. Therefore the school day would be presenting material they already knew; the child would not be learning something new each day.

    You may find your child encountering systems which are designed to close achievement gaps and create equal outcomes (as recorded in the gradebooks), amongst all students in a classroom. These educational systems may utilize two broad categories of strategies:
    1) raising the recorded grades of children at the bottom
    2) capping the growth of students at the top

    Children need appropriate academic challenge, and intellectual peers. For typical children, these needs may be met in the typical mainstream classroom. For gifted children, these needs are only met with specialized curriculum, placement, and pacing.

    These old posts may be of interest:
    1) What level of mastery allows a child to test out? -
    2) Advocacy roundup -
    3, 4, 5) Observing certain attitudes/behaviors may signal that a change is needed and may be overdue -
    . . . 3)
    . . . 4)
    . . . 5)


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