Assessment in Early Childhood Education: Threats and Challenges to Effective Assessment of Immigrant Children

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Research indicates that early childhood professionals gather assessment information to monitor child development and learning, to guide curriculum planning and decision making, to identify children who may have special needs, to report and communicate with others, and to evaluate programmes. A review of literature indicates that immigrant children have low achievement assessment scores as compared with mainstream American children, also immigrant children enter kindergarten already behind their mainstream American peers. The current study explored early childhood teachers' perceptions of assessment measures used with immigrant children and the challenges faced when assessing immigrant children. Findings of the study reveal that there are several factors that make early childhood teachers fail to gather effective assessment information from immigrant children. Unless the factors are addressed, planning for effective curriculum for immigrant children using assessment data will continue to be a challenge for early childhood teachers. Factors that continue to affect gathering effective assessment data from immigrant children include language barriers, cultural clashes, socio-economic factors, and culturally and linguistically biased assessment measures.