Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ravitch Exposes Faults of Common Core Standards for K-3

Why the Common Core Standards for Grades K-3 Are Wrong

by dianeravitch
A group of early childhood educators explain here why the Common Core is inappropriate for children in grades K-3. This statement is an excerpt from their joint publication "Defending the Early Years."
 The first mistake of the Common Core is that it "maps backwards" from what is needed for high school graduation and ignores the kind of learning that is developmentally appropriate for young children. "An example of a developmentally inappropriate Common Core standard for kindergarten is one that requires children to “read emergent reader texts with purpose and understanding.” Many young children are not developmentally ready to read in kindergarten and there is no research to support teaching reading in kindergarten. There is no research showing long-term advantages to reading at 5 compared to reading at 6 or 7."
 The second mistake is that the CCSS assumes that all children learn at the same rate and in the same way. However, "Many of the skills mandated by the CCSS erroneously assume that all children develop and learn skills at the same rate and in the same way. Decades of child development research and theory from many disciplines (cognitive and developmental psychology, neuroscience, medicine and education) show how children progress at different rates and in different ways. For example, the average age that children start walking is 12 months. Some children begin walking as early as 9 months and others not until 15 months – and all of this falls within a normal range. Early walkers are not better walkers than later walkers. A second example is that the average age at which children learn to read independently is 6.5 years. Some begin as early as 4 years and some not until age 7 or later – and all of this falls within the normal range."
 Part of the second mistake is that young children are being assessed in ways that make no sense: "The CCSS are measured using frequent and inappropriate assessments – this includes high-stakes tests, standardized tests and computer-administered assessments. States are required to use computer-based tests (such as PARCC) to assess CCSS. This is leading to mandated computer use at an early age and the misallocation of funds to purchase computers and networking systems in school districts that are already underfunded."
 A third mistake was that those who wrote the CCSS did not include anyone knowledgeable about early childhood education: "The CCSS do not comply with the internationally and nationally recognized protocol for writing professional standards. They were written without due process, transparency, or participation by knowledgeable parties. Two committees made up of 135 people wrote the standards – and not one of them was a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood education professional."
 A fourth mistake was that "There is a lack of research to support the current early childhood CCSS. The standards were not pilot tested and there is no provision for ongoing research or review of their impact on children and on early childhood education." Those of us who urged field testing of the standards were ignored.
 Read the rest of the article to read the other mistakes that CCSS made in writing standards for K-3. Then you will understand how foolish it was for a kindergarten class to cancel the annual class play because the children needed more time for rigorous academic studies. If educators think that CCSS cancels out the well-researched principles of child development, they make a terrible mistake.
 dianeravitch | May 12, 2014 at 10:00 am | Categories: Education Reform | URL:

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