Grading pre-school programs at kindergartners' expense? - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Grading pre-school programs at kindergartners' expense?

Margo Houston Margo Houston

Amarillo parents can now rely on state report cards to help choose  a high-performing pre-school. While some moms and dads say they like the ratings idea, they're a little apprehensive about how it works. 

To help decide which pre-schools receive the state's certification researchers track pre-schoolers as they enter kindergarten. Their findings, which include three annual tests on the kindergartners, reflect the quality of the pre-school program. 

Pre-school teacher Margo Houston is proud of her classroom's success. "They're not watching movies all day long, they're not playing outside all day long, they're really learning, they're engaged," says Houston.

Parents we spoke with say ratings will help them make better decisions about pre-schools, but at kindergartners expense.

"I just think it's too much stress for a child to have to go through all that testing," says one mother. 

Another parent notes "kindergarten is there to help them.   For them to learn, it's not for them to start testing... they're not ready for it yet."

When  pre-schoolers are examined for pre-school ratings next year, Houston says they won't lose sleep over the testing. "It's not like the teachers are saying okay okay, you're going to be tested tomorrow you better be ready, it's nothing like that."  Houston describes the testing as one-on-one sessions that are so stress-free, sometimes the kids don't even know they're being evaluated.  

This is a voluntary program.  It's up to pre-schools to decide whether they want to participate.  Below are Amarillo area pre-schools that received the state's seal of approval.

Coronado Elementary, Emerson Elementary - 2 classes, Forest Hill - 2 classes, Landergin Elementary, Mary Miles Learning Center - 2 classes, Mclellan, Oakdale Elementary, Opportunity School, Pleasant Valley, Re Lee Elementary, San Jacinto - 2 classes, Sanborn Elementary, 2 classes, South Georgia Elementary, South Lawn Elementary, Western Plateau Elementary, Whittier Elementary - 2 classes, Will Rogers Learning Center, Wills Elementary.

Powered by Frankly