Thursday, April 30, 2015

Standards are Killing Kindergarten

Kindergarten was supposed to be half day  learning how to go to school. Not to insure that every child arrives in 1st grade knowing how to read and write at the same level and erase all income and ethnic gaps. 

The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten

by Wendy Lecker
This article originally appeared in the Stamford Advocate on February 21, 2014 
One of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.
Boy Playing With Blocks
not allowed
A new University of Virginia (UVA) study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art, and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.
The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.
How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages — they just are not all the same, especially between the ages of 4-6.

... e, the drafters of the Common Core ignored the research on child development. In 2010, 500 child-development experts warned the drafters that the standards called for exactly the kind of damaging practices that inhibit learning: direct instruction, inappropriate academic content, and testing.

All Day Kindergarten for Everybody in Minnesota

All-day Kindergarten For Minnesota Kids

When Minnesota made all-day kindergarten a free option for the 2014-15 school year, more than 57,000 students enrolled. Parents of 99% of all students chose the all-day option....During the 2013-14 school year, just 54% of kindergarteners went to school all day. 
....Critics of all-day kindergarten that stresses reading and math, rather than play and art, worry that students will suffer. Play time for young children is deemed critical for the development of creativity and ingenuity. hose in charge of education policy must pay attention to the developmental inappropriateness of young children spending long days at school focusing on academics. While spending all day in kindergarten class may seem like a good idea to parents who need childcare, it may not be in their children’s best interest because it is not age-appropriate.

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