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.