Saturday, September 28, 2013

Are America's Toddlers College and Career Ready?

In a move that surprises very few in the education field, the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) has decided to develop a college and career readiness test for toddlers. To be called the Toddler Intelligence Test (TIT), the development of the TIT is being overseen by a division of PARCC, the Toddler Assessment Team (TAT). A group of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, hedge fund managers and former tennis stars has been assembled to develop TIT for TAT.

A spokesperson for PARCC, Phil N. Blanks, said in a statement that the company is already well on its way to having standardized tests available for kindergarten and pre-school children, so the toddler test was the next logical area to target. “It’s never too early to develop college and career skills and we at PARCC will leave no child behind when it comes to being tested every year.” When asked why no early childhood education specialists or child psychologists were on the development team, Blanks noted that PARCC had found such experts were overly concerned with the negative impact of so much testing at such a young age. “These people just were not team players; they kept asking questions instead of developing questions.”

When asked what would be on the test, Blanks pointed to key areas of toddler knowledge necessary for college and career readiness. These include toilet training, large motor skill function (the specially designed answer sheet will have larger than usual circles to fill in), keyboarding, binary computer code and, of course, close reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Unable to determine how to measure toilet training proficiency on an answer sheet, the developers decided to make this a performance test. When finding volunteers to proctor this part of the test proved difficult, the entire test development was in danger. Luckily, according to Blanks, a group of eager young college graduates stepped in to fill the void. These students, known as Toilet Trainers for America (TTFA), received five weeks of toilet training over the summer, so they could effectively monitor the exam.

Buoyed by the success of the development of the TIT, PARCC has begun preliminary investigation into in utero college and career readiness testing.