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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Testing Young Children

1989 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland


This resolution was prompted by the increasing practice of using norm-referenced, multiple-choice, standardized tests in preschool through primary grades, to determine children's achievement levels, potential learning problems, and readiness for school. NCTE members warned that children's inexperience with such tests can produce misleading results.

In addition, the members said, standardized test scores reflect neither the diversity of children's preschool experiences nor the range of their development. They warned that if school systems use test scores to assign young children to curricular tracks, teachers may be prompted to replace sound educational activities with efforts to prepare children for tests. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English urge legislators, state departments of education, and local school districts to end immediately the use of normreferenced, multiple-choice, standardized tests for children in preschool and the primary grades; and

     that NCTE urge state and local affiliates to educate state legislators, administrators and other officials, and parents about the powerful and dangerous impact these tests can have on the development and education of young children.

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