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Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 10:02am

Early Grades' CRCT Testing in Limbo

It’s not clear whether 1st and 2nd graders will have to take the CRCT next year. Lawmakers had removed the funding from the budget, but the governor wants to restore it.

Some parents and early childhood education experts had been lobbying lawmakers for years to get rid of the tests because they say it’s unreliable for children that young.

Georgia State University Professor Caitlyn McMunn Dooley says most states don’t give these kinds of tests to 1st and 2nd graders.

"The National Association for the Education of Young Children, the International Reading Association, the American Psychological Association, I mean you name it and there is a position statement out there that says testing in early grades in this way is inappropriate," says Dooley.

Lawmakers leant an ear to that argument in this tight budget year and removed the funding which would have saved the state 1.2 million dollars.

But Governor Perdue struck the language around the early CRCT testing, saying eliminating them would be “unwise.”

Spokesperson for the governor Bert Brantley says early testing helps prepare students for the 3rd grade CRCT which they’ll have to pass to move on to 4th grade.

"Eliminating the 1st and 2nd grade test means the first test that a student will take is a gateway test; they will not have had the experience and the benefit of preparing for the test and taking that test in 1st and 2nd grade," says Brantley.

Now the state Department of Education has to either find funding or do away with the tests.

The DOE hasn’t decided what to do yet.