Early Childhood Standards of Common Core are Developmentally Inappropriate

Megan Koschnick(Washington, DC) Today the American Principles Project (APP), in conjunction with the Pioneer Institute and the Heartland Institute, released a video of Dr. Megan Koschnick’s presentation discussing how certain aspects of the Common Core standards are developmentally and age inappropriate.  Dr. Koschnick gave her presentation at a September 9, 2013 conference at the University of Notre Dame.  APP, Heartland, and Pioneer sponsored the conference, entitled “The Changing Role of Education in America: Consequences of the Common Core.”

“Why do we care if [Common Core standards] are age inappropriate? Well, you can answer that with one word – stress,” said Dr. Megan Koschnick during her presentation. “Instead of thinking about what’s developmentally appropriate for kindergarteners, they are thinking [college] is where we want this kindergartener to end up, so let’s back track down to kindergarten and have kindergarteners work on these skills from an early age. This can cause major stress for the child because they are not prepared for this level of education.”

Dr. Koschnick’s presentation echoes the concerns set forth in the Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals on the Common Core Standards Initiative (March 2, 2010) and with the concerns set forth in the The Answer Sheet blog in the Washington Post, entitled A Tough Critique of Common Core on Early Childhood Education (January 29, 2013). This blog, written by Edward Miller and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, quoted Dr. Carla Horowitz of the Yale Child Study Center as stating, “The Core Standards will cause suffering, not learning, for many, many young children.”

Reactions to Dr. Koschnick’s presentation at the Notre Dame conference, by those who were in attendance, include:

Khadine Ritter of Ohio:  “As a mother of two young children, I am astounded by the irresponsibility of those in government who seemingly never consulted child development experts to determine if these standards were age appropriate.  They are toying with a generation of students, but we won’t see the detrimental consequences until it is too late. I hope public officials will now do their homework and watch Dr. Koschnick’s important presentation.”

Professor Gerard Bradley of University of Notre Dame Law School:  “Many critical observers of Common Core have focused upon the inadequate math and ELA standards at the high school end of education — and rightly so.  But, Dr. Koschnick’s arresting presentation tells us that there is much to criticize at the front end, as well.”

APP Education Director Emmett McGroarty:  “Dr. Koschnick sets forth her concerns as a child psychologist in clear, but troubling, detail.  I urge every parent, every teacher, and every administrator to watch Dr. Koschnick’s presentation and to read the Joint Statement and the blog article by Mr. Miller and Ms. Carlsson-Paige.”

Heartland Institute’s Joy Pullman:  "Dr. Koschnick’s analysis makes it clear what other early childhood professionals have said: Common Core asks small children to behave like little adults, and they are not little adults. Anyone who cares for a small child could tell you this. This is a further consequence of the Common Core lead writers’ lack of experience and professional reputation, and of its committees excluding experts in early childhood."

Jamie Gass, Director of Pioneer Institute’s Center for School Reform: "In addition to the weaker academic content in Common Core’s ELA and math standards, it now appears that due to haste and inexperience Common Core’s authors also introduce material to schoolchildren at developmentally inappropriate ages. Given this new and troubling information drawn from Dr. Koschnick’s analysis, it’s not difficult to see why parents and a growing number of child psychologists across the country are up in arms over Common Core’s deficiencies."

You can watch the video of Dr. Koschnick’s full presentation here or below:

33 thoughts on “Early Childhood Standards of Common Core are Developmentally Inappropriate

  1. As a progressive, I note the right-leaning organizations behind this conference. And I will disagree with them on most things.

    But, this video is admittedly too compelling and commonsensical to avoid. On these particular points, progressives and right-leaning folks can come together. The unyielding bipartisan push of Common Core, without acknowledging its many deficiencies, may well be causing grave damage to education.

    1. Metro, I’m with you 100% I’m to the left on most political issues. However, as an educator in the early grades (K-5), and as a parent of an 8 year old, Common Core flies in the face of all the established theory of how young children learn. Children’s awareness of their own cognitive processes (on which the CC curriculum is based) happens on an individual time scale with each individual child. Just like potty training, learning how to walk, learning how to talk, along with many other early childhood milestones, forcing children to learn before they’re ready will lead to stress, resistance, and negative behavioral outcomes. Put simply, kids are ready for meta-cognitive thinking (along with Piaget’s “Concrete Operational” stage) at different times, and to force them through school “Standardization” will only lead to disaster for those kids who aren’t ready when the school says they should be.

      There is an organization called the Left-Right Alliance Against Common Core… their website lays out their position, but there is a dearth of articles to back up that position… wish that site was better.

  2. Not only is the CC developmentally inappropriate, once it is leveraged nationally with high stakes standardized testing, rampant Pavlovian behaviorist test prep will be unleashed on unsuspecting children.

  3. I’m not sure about this whole presentation … I’m pretty sure my 5 year old understands that the little mairmaid is NOT real. I’m not so sure that what dr. Koschonick talks about in this presentation is so true. My child is pretty normal, smart but I wouldn’t call him a genius and yet many of the things she states children at his age cannot possibly comprehend he actually does.
    Also, I wish she didn’t chew gum during her presentation…

    1. I don’t see her chewing gum at all. She talks quite fast and she has a mannerism with her tongue when she breathes through her nose. Most people are mouth breathers when talking.

      1. Even if she has something in her mouth — which, by the way, could have been prescribed to her if her mouth gets dry while speaking (note: she does not drink water while speaking). I think all parents on this thread should focus on content rather than form.

        1. I warned you in another comment thread about civility.

          It is obvious that debating without personal attacks is impossible for you. Sad really as you are not really defending your position.

  4. If you don’t want to hypothesize about what will happen, just go over to an Asian secondary school and see the negative results later on of putting too much pressure on young children. Inability to think or work independently, struggling with creativity, incredible stress levels, incapacitating fear to do anything in front of a classroom alone, to name a few. The suicide rate here is very high and if you ask almost any child what they want to do with their life, the answer is almost always, “Get into university.” After that, blank stare, don’t know…

      1. Cancandycandy she did say Asian secondary school. In the rest of the paragraph she is still elaborating on Asian students so I presume she is still talking about Asia when she says here 🙂

  5. Have to agree with her. As a teacher of little ones, and using Common Core, I see tears and refusals to attempt tasks, that when taught as age appropriate was greeted with cheers, smiles, and honest attempts to learn. They have the right idea but lower el. standards were definitely not written with the young student in mind. Blah.

  6. I wish it was an essay instead of a video. How many actual parents of kids have time to sit through a video or a lecture? If you have something to say, write it. Believe it or not some of us are still literate.

  7. I would like if they would talk about children with an IEP…. and this common core!! It is very difficult for my son with this new change and parents!

  8. There are so many things wrong with this presentation by this so-called “expert.” So far I am in 15 minutes (I honestly can’t believe I watched this long) and she has NO idea what she’s talking about. She either has not really been educated on what the common core is, and is assessing based on some specific, out of context ideas, or she’s twisting it, like so many people seem to be doing. Finally I had to stop when she got to fluency. Even though many educators may believe that fluency is speed, it is NOT. Fluency is being able to express yourself effortlessly. That does not mean as fast as you can. That means being able to do something easily, because you understand it. Just because SOME districts test for speed, does not mean that is what fluency is, or that all districts do it, or that is has anything at all to do with the common core.

    1. you are not getting it. This is about stress on our kids and age appropriate learning. You are nit picking.

  9. I am not a teacher, I am a mother and grandmother. It has come to my attention that Common Core intends on teaching Sex Education (including masterbation). If this is true, every parent better understand that federalizing education is exactly what the Germans did in Nazi Germany. Also, have heard some pretty chilling details about pornographic reading material on middle school book lists (The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, pages 162-163) is the example I read and it was over the top for this grandmother)! CC really seems like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    1. OMG, do you live under a rock?Your ignorance and narrow-mindness is appalling. And calling Toni Morrison’s novel pornography should land you some kind of punishment BY LAW, for Pete’s sake. You know nothing about literature. And definitely nothing about education. And you should be ashamed of what you write about education. ASHAMED. And BTW, do you even know what you’re writing about – masterbation, anyone?. IGNORANCE IS TRULY THE WORST THING!! PLEASE…

      1. She is referring to this – http://www.futureofsexeducation.org/documents/josh-fose-standards-web.pdf and getting it mixed up with the Common Core.
        As for the book, whether you want to call it pornographic or not it is inappropriate and doesn’t belong in the text exemplar. Schools don’t have to use this selection and I hope that they won’t. It is appalling it even made it in.
        As for you, we expect civility here. If you can not be respectful in your comments you will be banned.

      2. Toni Morrison’s novel describes graphic sexual encounters including incest,and child molestation from the view point of the molester,calling it tender and sweet. It describes the acts of molestation and incest as normal and even beautiful. It can not be read loud in class and there are pages that must be read at home. They will however discuss and read the book,which honestly reads like a porno. This is to be read by 11th and 12th graders. Can you see a victim of incest, rape, or molestation reading in graphic detail how their attacker felt at the time and that it was tender and exciting. This is awful. No minor child should read this in a school setting.

  10. Perhaps you folks should drop the “progressive/right” mindset altogether, even outside of education, and realize it’s “statist vs. freedom.”
    These people aren’t “progs” or “teabags,” they exist on both sides of the aisle in our dysfunctional government, and they are actively working to produce a nation of automatons that will be easy to control.
    Call me paranoid, say I wear tin foil hats … I don’t care. These people are working together by pitting us against each other on issues that are meant to be state-level issues. While we are arguing over who marries who, and what age is OK to kill a baby, they are running wild growing the Federal government and ruining education.

  11. I will say this with two kids in Common Core classrooms in Maryland. The things said here are not exactly correct. The teachers I know who are now implemented this and using it are happy with the freedom that is given to them by the curriculum.

    When they have a lesson, they start with teaching the lesson with the expectation that everyone will understand the lesson. It is a high level view of the lesson and it gives the teacher a understanding of where each students comprehension is at. As they delve deeper into the lesson the ones who understand less than others are given more attention to bring them to the level of the class.

    My oldest daughter is in 7th grade and she feels like she’s already learning more with this new curriculum than she had ever learned in last years class.

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