What does earlier reading in kindergarten predict for reading proficiency and academic success in later grades? Not much, according to the report, which cites study findings that by fourth grade, children who were reading at age 4 were not significantly better at reading than their classmates who’d learned to read at age 7. The report also points out that in Finland and Sweden, kids don’t even start formal schooling until they are 7 years old.
Given the wide developmental variation in young learners and the evidence that early reader advantages fade, the report concludes that a kindergarten literacy standard will simply crush the spirits of the late bloomers, linking school with “feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and confusion.”
Unlike the advantages for reading ahead of the pack in kindergarten, which may fade over time, research shows more robust, long-term negative academic effects on students who are struggling readers, falling behind their peers.
“Young children learn best in active, hands-on ways and in the context of meaningful real-life experiences,” notes a statement of “grave concerns” about the kindergarten standards signed by hundreds of teachers and education scholars, including Howard Gardner, the Harvard developmental psychologist known for his theory of multiple intelligences and their importance in learning. “Overuse of didactic instruction and testing cuts off children’s initiative, curiosity, and imagination, limiting their engagement in school,” according to the statement.
“Over the last half century, there’s been a continuous decline in children’s freedom to play,” says Boston College psychologist Peter Gray. “It’s through play that children gain the social abilities, the grit, the ability to control their impulses and solve their own problems that makes them resilient.”
A critical look at the Common Core Math standards from Constance Kamii
Sad story about students being disciplined for opting out of PARCC testing.
The Common Core has become a flashpoint at the nexus of education politics and policy, fueled by ardent social media activists. To explore this phenomenon, this innovative and interactive website examines the Common Core debate through the lens of the influential social media site Twitter. Using a social network perspective that examines the relationships among actors, we focus on the most highly used Twitter hashtag about the Common Core: #commoncore. The central question of our investigation is: How are social media-enabled social networks changing the discourse in American politics that produces and sustains social policy?
A report on the current state of affairs and how we are hurting kids by pushing too much too soon.
From Richard Byrne
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