LAUSD Backtracks on Timed Reading Tests for Four-Year-Olds

The Los Angeles Unified School District will no longer require timed reading tests for transitional kindergarten (TK) students.

“For the 2023-24 school year and with the revision of the California Preschool Learning Foundations coming this summer, administering the DIBELS for [universal TK] Los Angeles Unified students will be optional,” the district announced last week.

The change follows an uproar from some parents and educators who said the screenings were developmentally inappropriate and could put too much pressure on the district’s four-year-olds. The tests are not designed for preschool-aged children.

This is the first year that LAUSD schools have offered universal TK. Those in favor of the mandatory screenings said the tests would help inform kindergarten teachers of their incoming students’ academic readiness. Previously, TK teachers were told to complete the tests by June 5.

LAUSD Trustee Kelly Gonez lauded the change, arguing there should be more emphasis on play in early learning.

“I actually think that instead of trying to push academics downwards into TK and preschool, that we should go the other way,” she told the Los Angeles Times.