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    By Grace

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    Believe it or not, this kind of testing may not be a disadvantage to students from a poor background.
    How can you judge how far you have travelled if you don't know where you started from? If you test children after a couple of years you will see the stage they have reached, but not neccessarily how much they have learnt. Some of our children are from deprived backgrounds and so they come into school with the language and vocabulary of three year olds-we know this because of testing just like you describe. They are starting on the bottom of the learning ladder, while children from better homes will have a much better vocabulary, know colours, shapes, numbers, be able to write their own name and may be well up that ladder. Both sets of children may make progress, but if you don't know what they started with you will be unable to assess that progress.
    I look at this every day when teaching children with EPs. I know where I started from with them, so I know the important progress they make, whereas someone else may think "Is that all they can do?"
    Don't get hung up on the word testing until you see what it entails.

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