Common Core is Horrible for K-3

January 30, 2013

There is growing evidence that the Common Core standards are absurd in the early grades. They require a level of academic learning that is developmentally inappropriate.

Little children need time to play. Play is their work. In play, they learn to share and to count, to communicate, to use language appropriately, and to figure things out.

A story in a NYC newspaper shows just how ridiculous the Common Core standards are when imposed on 5-year-olds: Here is a story, well worth reading, about how Common Core is being implemented in kindergartens across New York City. The headline is. “Playtime’s Over.”

Says the story:

“Way beyond the ABCs, crayons and building blocks, the city Department of Education now wants 4- and 5-year-olds to write “informative/explanatory reports” and demonstrate “algebraic thinking.”

“Children who barely know how to write the alphabet or add 2 and 2 are expected to write topic sentences and use diagrams to illustrate math equations.

“For the most part, it’s way over their heads,” a Brooklyn teacher said. “It’s too much for them. They’re babies!”

“In a kindergarten class in Red Hook, Brooklyn, three children broke down and sobbed on separate days last week, another teacher told The Post.”

How did this happen?

This article by Edward Miller and Nancy Carlsson-Paige explains that early childhood educators were not included on the committees that wrote the standards, and their feedback was never incorporated.

It is as if a large group of business leaders were asked to write standards for surgeons, or if surgeons were asked to devise standards for plumbers.

When you learn what these standards expect little children to do, you have to wonder if any of the people who wrote them have small children or if they ever taught small children.

I am reminded of a book that came out last year by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl called Childism, about prejudice against children. These days, we don’t put them to work in factories at 5 or 6, and we don’t beat them in public, we just make them do things that they cannot do and make them feel like failures before they turn 7.

This blog post, which first appeared on the Diane Ravitch's Blog (http://dianeravitch.net/) website, has been shared by permission from the author.
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Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She serves on the board of the Core Knowledge Foundation, Common Core, the Albert Shanker Institute of the American Federation of Teachers, and Common Good. She is an honorary life trustee of the...