Your Kids Can’t Handle the Common Core, Put Them in Pre-K

Filed in Common Core State Standards by on March 8, 2013 3 Comments

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And it begins…. From SchoolBook a blog about New York City Schools:

With the pre-kindergarten application season officially underway, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott was touting the early childhood program as an important first step in molding students under the Common Core learning standards. The key, he said, is fostering independence in the classroom at a young age….

…“The pre-K classroom is aligned to the Common Core very seamlessly in the sense that children are engaged in hands-on learning,” she said. “Our teachers work very hard to provide those real-life experiences,” she said, such as taking field trips.

Not to go all conspiracy theorist on you, but this is the natural next step to getting kids in government schools at an earlier age.  Push early childhood education because it is important to get kids ready for the Common Core.  See how it’s stressing out Kindergarteners?  Well you can help prevent that if you would just enroll your child in pre-school or an argument along those lines except they wouldn’t use the word “stress.”  They’d probably say something like this – “the standards are too rigorous for your kindergarten student without the preparation that pre-K gives, so it is essential for you to enroll your child.” (Ignore the fact the Common Core State Standards are not developmentally appropriate for kindergarteners.)  How soon will it end up being compulsory?

We also have President Obama who in his State of the Union address touted early childhood education:

But none of it will matter unless we also equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs.

And that has to start at the earliest possible age. You know, study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road.

But today, fewer than three in ten 4-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. So, tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.

And forget those private preschools… put them in government-run schools.  That way they can prepare them to be “college and career-ready” and make sure your child is prepared for the workforce.

All the while subverting the key role of parents at such a crucial age.

Update: Just saw this article at The Christian Post written by Napp Nazworth.  He interviewed an early childhood education expert, Dr. Nancy Carlsson-Paige.  She said:

“I’m very concerned about the harm that is created when you put inappropriate expectations on a nation of young children, you give them all kinds of damaging messages as well as increasingly eliminate their opportunities for healthy and genuine learning,” Carlsson-Paige said.

Carlsson-Paige is professor emerita at Lesley University, where she taught for 30 years. Her newest book is Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids.

In 2010, she was one of over 500 early childhood experts who signed a petition warning that Common Core would be harmful to young children.

The Common Core standards do not reflect the “development characteristics and needs of young children. They are imposing expectations on young children that are inappropriate in a variety of ways,” she said.

One of the main problems, Carlsson-Paige believes, is the Common Core requires K-3 children to “learn specific content, facts and skills at certain ages.” But children, especially young children, develop at different rates. To get children to learn the same things at the same time, teachers must “drill them,” which has resulted in “an enormous increase in direct teaching and direct instruction.”

In states that have embraced the Common Core, the direct instruction is replacing proven techniques that early childhood education experts advocate.

“The direct instruction has replaced hands on, active learning and play, which really are the bedrock, or cornerstone activities of early childhood that really solidify learning,” Carlsson-Paige explained. “Children learn through active engagement and play in the early years. Skilled teachers know how to connect skills appropriately to play as they see what children are doing and where they are on the developmental spectrum.”

The direct instruction is damaging to children, she said, because it encourages children to believe that “the information is outside of themselves, rather than they have a capacity construct it from within.

Photo Credit: Ken Colwell via Flickr (CC-By-NC-SA 2.0)

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About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.
  • Joy Pullmann

    This last article is a mix of true and false. Direct instruction IS actually the best, most time-tested and research-proven instruction method FOR ACADEMICS. What’s wrong here with overdrilling young kids is that they need like an hour a day, maybe 1.5, in actual academic, direct instruction on things like reading and counting. The rest should be free, or guided,, play. Small people simply do not need to be in school as long as they are. Other research shoes institutionalizing little people makes them sick of school and less motivated.

    See more on the research regarding direct instruction here: http://www.education-consumers.org/ClearTeaching.htm, and in ED Hirsch’s stellar education research reviews. Hirsch also explains why most of the education experts are full of baloney with pronouncements like these about “childhood development” and so forth.

  • Danielle

    My son is in a PreK program at our local public school. The Common Core comes to his education in the form of Pearson worksheets, which my son hates. If fact, the only part of school he wants to talk about is recess. His teacher is delightful, but she is forced to try to get these kids to a level that I feel is developmentally inappropriate. They have to be able to write letters yet many of them simply don’t have the hand strength… the solution, coloring more Pearson worksheets to develop that strength. I hate the push push push mentality, especially in these babies, because let’s face it folks, these 4 and 5 year olds are still our babies, aren’t they?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001337254983 Ramona Timm

    We bit the bullet for me to stay home and teach our son…Studies have shown that if you keep them out till the 2nd grade the child will not be behind and will have far more maturity and self confidence to learn in a classroom setting..The parent will also learn whether Johnny or Janie would rather stay at home and learn directly from the best teacher on earth…Mom and Dad. Most States have homeschool laws and the requirements are not burdensome. There are also Groups that can be an outlet for field days and special “School” Activities..such as graduation.