Podcast: Early Evaluation for New Jersey Students

Why is New Jersey starting to test students in kindergarten, and what are the implications?

New Jersey could soon join the ranks of states that will start assessing students as early as kindergarten to make sure they are starting on track.

NJ Spotlight’s education writer John Mooney joins WHYY/Newsworks host David Heller to talk about the program and both the benefits and the concerns.

The state’s plan is to start with seven districts, testing an assessment model that will look at nearly 800 kindergarteners’ academic and social development. This is not the same as testing used with older grades, but more observational assessments that teachers can do during the course of the day.

The state’s plan is to expand the pilot into more districts next year and potentially take it statewide the year after.