Common Core Kindergarten Standards

Common Core kindergarten standards lay out what your child should be able to do before entering first grade. Parents today are bombarded with tips and advice on the best practices for raising their child. But, the promoters for the Common Core Standards in Early Childhood Education are giving parents a lot of, “CaCa Del Toro”! From their very first day of nursery or preschool the education system is regulating, programming and structuring your child. There’s little time for play; the focus is on memorization of “facts.” It seems the committee members making curriculum decisions for kindergarten classrooms don’t regard playtime as learning time for your child. More and more preschool and kindergarten teachers must follow scripts from which they can’t deviate.

Common Core Early Childhood: Nancy Carlsson-Paige

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But, according to renowned Author and Professor of Early Childhood Education, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, teachers reading scripted lessons to students is just the tip of the iceberg . In her Washington Post Article, A Tough Critique of Common Core on Early Childhood Education, she stated,” We reviewed the makeup of the committees that wrote the early childhood Common Core Standards. In all, there were 135 people on those panels. Not a single one of them was a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood professional. It appears that early childhood teachers and child development experts were excluded from the K-3 standards-writing process.” read the rest of the story 

“The people who wrote these standards do not appear to have any background in child development or early childhood education,” wrote Stephanie Feeney of the University of Hawaii, chair of the Advocacy Committee of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.

No Research, No Dialogue, No Teacher Input. Big Problem

The advocates of Common Core claim the standards are based in research; they’re not. There’s no convincing research certain skills or bits of knowledge, such as counting to 100 or reading a certain number of words, if mastered in kindergarten will lead to later success in school. Two recent studies show that direct instruction can actually limit young children’s learning. At best, the standards reflect guesswork not cognitive or developmental science. Also, the Common Core Standards don’t provide for ongoing research or review of the outcomes of their assumptions; a core principle of any research based study. The National Association for the Education of Young Children is the foremost professional organization for early education in the U.S. Yet, it had no role in the creation of the K-3 Core Standards.


Why were early childhood professionals excluded from the Common Core Standards project? Why were the doubts of the most knowledgeable education and health experts missing from the official record of this undertaking? Would including them have forced the committee members to face serious criticism and questions about the legitimacy of the entire project? The Common Core Standards are now the law in 46 states. But it’s not too late to unearth the facts about how and why they were created and to raise an alarm about the threat they represent. Our first task as a society is to protect our children. The imposition of these standards endangers them. To learn more about how early childhood educators are working to defend young children, see Defending the Early Years.

Common Core: Play, The 4-letter word

When did play once the distinguishing aspect of a kindergarten classroom become a four letter word? When school boards began overemphasizing and obsessing about high-standardized test scores. In their fevered efforts to raise test scores school administers required teachers to teach to the test. The new learning mantra was, “drill, drill, drill and drill some more”. Even if your child had no idea what was being taught. Spending class time filling your child’s head with information leaves no time for play or age appropriate learning that actually leads to long-term knowledge. Young children don’t learn through direct instruction or “skill and drill” worksheets. Research on cognitive development and the brain show that young children learn by constructing knowledge or wiring the brain in a more physical or active way involving all the senses. The technical term for the way a child interacts with the real world is called, “Play”. But, in order to interact in this real world environment, not the environment of paper and pencil tasks, children must be active and out of their seats.



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  • I’m not a big fan of tests. In my opinion I think most students learn better without them.

  • My husband used to be an outreach educator for the Natural History Museum. His manager was very into common core and the way he was forced to teach really frustrated him. He was thinking of getting his teaching certification to become a teacher, but I think common core was one of the factors that made him realize it wasn’t for him.

  • Rose M Griffith

    Interesting…I’m still trying to figure out why we memorized so many facts and dates but missed learning the overall theme of whatever the event was. I like what Donna points out about the critical thinking. That’s so much more important. Especially now, when the data is at our fingertips.

  • I can understand the desire to introduce consistency across all schools. I find it disturbing that the quality of education can vary dramatically from school to school within the public school system. However, I cannot believe there is a move back to rote learning. Not the way to raise critical thinkers and curious creators. My daughter had an amazing kindergarten teacher. No one who watched her at work would say the children weren’t learning while they were playing and having fun!

    • Your head would explode if you read the kindergarten curriculum I reviewed for this post.

  • I have mixed feelings about common core. I understand the rationale behind it and the needs of students in some of the weaker more urbanized school districts that have historically not prepared their students for much of anything. But as more and more of our educational system becomes focused on test scores I hate to think of my son spending so much of his time in school taking and preparing for standardized tests.

    • Ken, If your son is older keep in mined ‘m specifically talking about early childhood K-3. I’ve read more positive statements about the core standards for upper grades.

  • Catarina Alexon

    Reading this makes me grateful I grew up when kindergarten was all about play. And despite that we still succeeded in life:-)

    • Catarina, it’s AMAZING, isn’t it? Judging from the list of committee members, I’d question the true intent of the common core committee members. Who are they really serving?

  • William Rusho

    I know the issue of the common core, but I think it is a bigger problem which is emerging. We have fallen behind in several major educational aspects compared to other countries. So we are blaming the children, making them take the common core. And now, there is discussions to remove summer vacation. Makes me wonder, if we want kids, or robots. When we grow up, there is a lot of pressure. Why put some on children before they grow up themselves, let them have this time as kids, to act like kids

  • Beth –

    Who can possibily think it’s a good idea that early childhood teachers and child development experts were excluded from the K-3 standards-writing process? Anybody who has ever taught at that level knows how much children need to refresh with periods of play. Schools are even eliminating recesses and that’s just wrong!

    • I hear you. It’s hard to believe. If I had a child in kindergarten through third grade, I’d seriously consider home schooling .

  • Phoenicia

    Test scores identify where a child’s strengths and weaknesses are. The teacher and parents are then able to to assist with their development. Play is important as children need free time to express themselves.

    • Play is an wonderful vehicle for a child’s self-expression and creativity.

  • Test scores if used as part of a comprehensive curriculum can reveal important gaps in a student’s knowledge. Unfortunately, the information doesn’t always get used to shed the light that it should. Case in point, I had to prepare tenth graders for high stakes tests, but year after year I would ask to receive a copy of the scores, and never was given a copy. How can I work with data I am trained to work with if I am not given the data in the first place? Ugh. So I never fretted too much about teaching to any kind of test. A rich and varied curriculum will take care of that all that. As for scripted lessons, don’t even get me started…

    • Excellent points, from an excellent teacher. Unfortunately, no one who had your knowledge and classroom experience sat on the committee.

  • Standardized tests do have some merit, but you’ll get no argument from me that far more importance is vested in them than should be the case.

    I noticed that the word “recess” does not appear in this post. Schools still have recess, right? I couldn’t agree more that at least once or twice a day teachers should get the kids outside to play four square or something.

    • Hi Andy. I read that some schools have stopped recess. And some schools have actually removed playgrounds. I’m a supporter of “standardized” tests. y Because they’re researched based, standardized test have reliability and validity. The tests discussed in post aren’t standardized.

    • My son is in middle school and they have eliminated recess. Instead they have DEAR which is supposed to be a time to read.

  • Big problem, big caca. As the parent of a 3rd and 5th grader I can tell you I’ve seen this first hand and it breaks my heart and just makes me downright mad. I just have no words for my disgust at how this came to be. I’m glad you’re talking about it; I think we need more education about what’s happening to our education.

    • In psychology EVERYTHING is about,the scientific method and research findings. I was shocked to discover that very little, if any educational decision are made by research. results. As I mentioned, with the issue of early childhood development, our schools are actually violating not just one study, but years of studies. I told my daughter when she has a child, I’ll b opening up a homeschool.

  • Jacqueline Gum

    This made me a little sad when I read it Pamela. I went to kindergarten at age 4, a half year ahead of most of my classmates. I was the last of three children to go, and I think my mom couldn’t wait to get me on that bus! LOL But I remember most of our time was playing! I loved kindergarten, probably because of that! And the milk and cookies too:) Back then, we were there all day. There was no such thing as half-day classes.

    • It’s very sad Jacqueline. And people wonder why psychologists are treating 5 year olds for stress and anxiety? Hello!