Centre Forum report thinks baseline assessment is a good idea …………..   2 comments

……… WELL I DISAGREE
(Please note these are my personal views and not those of any organisation mentioned in this blog or whom I am associated with)

We have a new report out from the centre forum which is all about schools accountability and how to measure their success.

If you have not read the report here it is http://www.centreforum.org/assets/pubs/progress-matters.pdf

And in my humble opinion that is where there are going wrong, we are talking about children, not a production line

I admit I have not even read the whole report – I have just skimmed it and a few words ‘jumped off the page’ and I formed my opinion very quickly – it is just my personal opinion but I wonder how many people agree with me?

I would be interested in reading your opinions.

I have already read the opinion of the Pre – school Learning Alliance (which you can read here – Alliance view on Centre Forums report ) and I will read other organisations views as they are published

However for now – my opinion – in what is going to be a very short blog!

Things that ‘jumped of the page’

The authors are not experts in the Early Years field – which might explain why they do not really understand why these tests on 4 year olds starting school are not good for the children; and why it is not just a case of ‘addressing the concerns’

Why there is a need to measure schools success by assessing children starting reception – you see there already is a very good measure in place – and NO it is not the End of Foundation Stage Profile; NO it is not the phonics test; NO it is not the SATS that children are made to sit, and for many is a very stressful experience.

It is the number of children who leave school – after at least 12 years of formal education unable to read or write in some cases, without functioning skills to get a job or look after themselves in other cases.

Despite decades of tests, measures, new schemes, overhaul of the curriculum, readjusting of final exams, the focus of Ofsted inspections – or anything else governments past and present have implemented, …… they have failed the children of this country.

They blame parents, they blame early years settings, they blame teachers BUT in my opinion they need to look to themselves – yes all of them no matter what colour their party.

You see they demand that those who care and educate the children of this country have more and more qualifications, jump through more and more hoops to evidence that they know what they are doing; – when they themselves – those who dictate, decide, pass laws about what is ‘best’ and ‘right’ for the children of this country – DO NOT HAVE ANY QUALIFICATIONS and often NO COMMON SENSE including that of LISTENING TO THOSE WHO DO KNOW, DO HAVE COMMON SENSE AND ARE QUALIFIED.

Maybe government and those who write reports such as this one from Centre Forum (and I am not picking on Centre Forum, they are plenty of other reports) should stop and think ……

…… WHAT IS THE MEASURE OF THEIR SUCCESS

……. WHO ARE THEY ACCOUNTABLE TO

……..ARE THEY MAKING A DIFFERENCE TO THE WELL BEING AND OUTCOMES OF THE CHILDREN

and if they are in any doubt – they should look at society, they should look at report after report about mental health, family breakdown, repeat offenders and many other things

And they should look at the functional skills of those leaving school – that is their measure, that is the indicator of their success

Not baseline assessments, which serve no practical purpose and are completely worthless, not tests designed to show narrow indicators of so called success (such as the phonics tests)

Just a suggestion ….. government and report writers – why not listen to those who know about such things; and why not trust early years practitioners and teachers to do the job they are paid to do, using their skills, knowledge and passion to support each child to reach their full potential as a human being, not as a robot who ticks boxes but who can’t think, dream, be creative – and often not even be happy or have a sense of purpose.

I could say a lot more, but is there any point?

Those who agree with me, already agree and will be nodding in agreement or busy writing their own blog, articles or letters to the media

Those who disagree won’t be reading this (or the words of wisdom from others) they will just be thinking about their own fame, glory, and career ladder, the next report or change of policy (and most likely at the moment thinking about the general election and what they should say / do to win votes) – they do not understand the needs of children, or the passion of those like me to do ‘the right thing’ and go to unreasonable lengths for the children of this country.

So it is unlikely that this blog will have any impact on if baseline testing is introduced or not – but I feel better having had my say

And should you agree with – and have not already done so – please consider signing the Early Education petition against Baseline Assessment

Early Education petition against Baseline Assessment

Post Script
Will be adding here articles and blogs as I come across them. Please feel free to send me links

Cathy Nutbrown view Cathy Nutbrown’s view on Baseline Testing

TACTYC view http://tactyc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/TACTYC-Baseline-position-paper-1.pdf

Pacey’s view Pacey view on baseline testig

Too Much Too Soon view Too Much Too Soon view on baseline testig

NUT view (via Too Much Too Soon) http://www.toomuchtoosoon.org/uploads/2/0/3/8/20381265/nut-resp-primary-assess-acc-under-nc-sept-13_kdr.pdf

Colin Richards view Colin Richard’s view on baseline testing

An old blog worth re reading
I wrote this blog in Feb 2014 about baseline assessment – if you have not read before take a look, if you have it might be worth rereading again Feb 2014 blog about Baseline Assessment

Posted January 21, 2015 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

2 responses to “Centre Forum report thinks baseline assessment is a good idea …………..

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  1. Love reading your ‘humble opinions’ Penny!

    This jumped out at me from your post: “The authors are not experts in the Early Years field” – there are far too many people making decisions for very young children who have no experience in the field!

    A child never left my home care – which I’ll say had a technical 3:1 ratio, because both my boys were at home – not being exceedingly well prepared for their next stage of care, development or education.

    What’s happening is now going on the world over (I was born in England and live in the US, where my sons grew up and were educated at home until 18). Education here, in my experience, was missing the boat over 30 years ago when my oldest son spent just one year in a state elementary school. It’s just become worse!

  2. Pingback: Baseline Testing – the continuing hype by Government. Despite the hype is my understanding is right? | Penny's Place Childminding

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