New York, NY —
Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed back against criticism of the city's plan to test its youngest students. The Department of Education is encouraging principals to administer standardized tests to children in kindergarten through second grade. The mayor says the tests are essential to learning a child's strengths and weaknesses.
BLOOMBERG: It's not easy to test a 5-year-old. But the alternative of not testing a 5-year-old is an outrage. That's about the nicest thing to say. To sit there and say well we're not sure we can test them. Therefore we're not going to help them.
REPORTER: The pilot program is currently voluntary for schools. Schools officials say they would help evaluate students before third grade, when standardized testing begins.