Samuel J. Meisels
March 2006

Politicians, policymakers, journalists, and scholars want to know that taxpayer-supported programs for young children work. Increasingly, the measure of program accountability has been reduced to how well a young child performs on a mandated test.

In this paper, President Samuel J. Meisels examines the genesis of accountability testing in preschool and refutes the quality-assurance, production-model assumptions that underlie its use with young children.

This article appears as a chapter in the book School Readiness, Early Learning, and the Transition to Kindergarten by Robert Pianta (Brookes Publishing, 2007) and as a Herr Research Center Occasional Paper.

Download “Accountability in Early Childhood: No Easy Answers” [PDF, 32pg]