- The Washington Times - Friday, August 22, 2014

Kindergarten classes around the nation have been facing fire from parents and teachers who say the mandated test-taking trend is pushing out playtime, leaving behind a “sweat shop” atmosphere that stresses students, one educator said.

The characterization of a “sweat shop” came from one long-time educator, who described his granddaughter’s Houston school class in The Washington Post as a standardized test and assessment zone — as mandated by state law.

The Post also reported how one school in New York sent home a letter to parents that announced their kindergarten kids wouldn’t be allowed playground or play time in class any longer, to help prepare students to be “college and career ready.”

Meanwhile, Florida lawmakers approved a law that’s set to take effect in the upcoming school year that requires schools to develop and implement seven or more end-of-course tests to all students, including kindergartners.

The final exams for kindergartners — and the growing testing atmosphere for even the youngest of students — isn’t sitting well with everyone.

“We support fair measures of accountability, but forcing 6-year-olds to take seven potentially high stakes tests is unacceptable,” Kathleen Oropeza, co-founder of the advocacy group Fund Education Now, said in The Post.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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