The State Journal's May 7 editorial, “Early reading test is welcome,” overstated the usefulness of the test when applied to young children enrolled in high-quality early education settings.
Current research continues to prove that play-based, high-quality early learning experiences for young children is best practice. While authentic assessment is vital, inappropriate testing is not.
What makes the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) inappropriate as a tool for 4K students? The test takes a minimum of 45 minutes of one-on-one testing per child. It has no applicability to children who are learning English. Centers will “teach to the test.”
And because it assesses only one facet of the 4K curriculum, it will crowd out more authentic assessments that document learning across domains.