The Shame of Being You
But the real question is, could Bush pass this test
Nate Kidder, whose feet barely touched the floor when he sat down, is in the midst of a historic moment in early education: More than half a million 4-year-olds in Head Start programs around the country are taking the same test, which has been mandated by the Bush administration. The largest standardized testing of such young children ever in this country, it has exposed a bitter divide between federal officials and many experts in early education.
"If you were the head of any industry I know — automobiles, pharmaceuticals, take any product you would use — you would have a quality assurance system in place to determine how your product is faring in terms of quality," Dr. Ramey said.
The Head Start test, he said, "is just another quality assurance program."
The test was clearly not Nate Kidder's idea of fun. When Mrs. Stevens showed him four pictures of people with different facial expressions, and asked him to point to the one that matched the word "horrified," he bit his lip and looked at her for reassurance.
Mrs. Stevens said later that she found the question, among others, ridiculous. " `Horrified' is not a word we teach children," she said.
"Our children don't see pictures like that," said Nate Kidder's teacher, Jana Little.
"We don't have swamps in Midland," she said.
As for the vase question, many children at the West Center, Mrs. Stevens said, may not have vases in their homes.