Sunday, January 18, 2015

"no evidence that mastering these standards in kindergarten rather than in first grade brings lasting gains"

One key concept being lost in the educational discussion is "developmentally appropriate." This article from the Washington Post highlights a report showing no studies supporting the Common Core and reading requirements for kindergarten level students.

The Common Core State Standards call for kindergartners to learn how to read, but a new report by early childhood experts says that forcing some kids to read before they are ready could be harmful. 
Two organizations that advocate for early childhood education — Defending the Early Years and Alliance for Childhood — issued the report titled “Reading in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose.” It says there is no evidence to support a widespread belief in the United States that children must read in prekindergarten or kindergarten to become strong readers and achieve academic success.
Brian Peyes-Mendez participates in a test with Kendra Sarris as kindergarten teachers assess students with new tests, on Oct. 30 in Accokeek, Md. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

The report summary outlines the following:

  • Many children are not developmentally ready to read in kindergarten, yet the Common Core State Standards require them to do just that. This is leading to inappropriate classroom practices.
  • No research documents long-term gains from learning to read in kindergarten. 
  • Research shows greater gains from playbased programs than from preschools and kindergartens with a more academic focus.
  • Children learn through playful, handson experiences with materials, the natural world, and engaging, caring adults.
  • Active, play-based experiences in language rich environments help children develop their
  • ideas about symbols, oral language and the printed word — all vital components of reading.
  • We are setting unrealistic reading goals and frequently using inappropriate methods to accomplish them.
  • In play-based kindergartens and preschools, teachers intentionally design language and literacy experiences which help prepare children to become fluent readers.
  • The adoption of the Common Core State Standards falsely implies that having children achieve these standards will overcome the impact of poverty on development and learning, and will create equal educational opportunity for all children.

You can find the full report here

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