Early Education Assessment Tool to be Used in All Delaware Schoo - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Early Education Assessment Tool to be Used in All Delaware Schools by Next Fall

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. – By next year 100 percent of Delaware's public school teachers will be using surveys in kindergarten classes to assess students readiness for learning.

The program – called the Delaware Early Learner Survey – has been phased into kindergarten classes since 2012, according to the state's Office of Early Learning.

Surveys test literacy, language, learning ability, cognition, physical well-being and motor development, among other areas.

Instead of using traditional multiple choice test sheets, the teachers give instructions and observe how students respond.

The OEL says the program is supposed to help teachers target where students may need more assistance to develop skills they'll need to be prepared for the next grade level.

At Salisbury University, the Director of the Early Childhood Education program says these kinds of tests can at times be a good resource for parents and teachers.

But Doctor Chin-Hsiu Chen also raises some concerns about misuse of those tools.

“For example, deny or postpone a child entry to the kindergarten program,” said Chen. “The other misuse can be labeling children by putting them into tracking ability – like ‘ready and not ready.' Most of all, it should not be used to predict children's future.”

However Dr. Chen does say early start programs are beneficial if quality is the main priority.

“I think the readiness has to be in school, in family and in the community in order to ready and support the effort that every child has healthy development and early learning,” said Chen.

The OEL says the survey is in 80 percent of schools this year.

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