School has NOT improved since the 50’s. Play has been replaced by standards that are far too rigorous and age inappropriate.
Nothing has changed with early childhood common core.
Have you seen these expectations for four and five year olds in a full day program?
“As a reader your child can:
* Read words on sight (examples: word wall words, classmate’s names, family names, labels and signs).
* Use the beginning letter or other known letters in words to read (cue) some words (partial phonemic awareness).
* Read level B to C emergent texts with purpose, fluency, and understanding. (Show samples of texts being read independently after practice. Include child-selected samples from the child’s book bag and samples from guided reading.)
As a writer your child can:
* Write little informational, narrative, and opinion compositions with a mix of invented and a few conventional spellings.
* Demonstrate some letter-sound correspondences when producing drawings and meaningful texts.
* Create meaningful independent compositions such as R U DF for Are you deaf?
* Read back her own writing in Standard English when short pieces are transcribed by the teacher and practiced over and over by the student. (Show examples of stories you have “published” by transcribing the child’s writing and pasting it under the child’s original “kid writing.”)
* Begin to use a few conventions such as appropriate capitalization, grammatical usage, and punctuation. (Show examples from the writer’s portfolio.)
As a speller your child can:
* Spell some high-frequency kindergarten-level spelling words correctly. (Show examples of spelling words you have taught.)
* Invent spellings of many unknown words with close letter-sound matches making them readable.”
What happened to the moratorium?
“Five- and 6-year-old kids now spend hours in their seats doing academic work, often with little or no recess or physical education, or arts, music and science. These kids are tested ad nauseam and expected to be able to do things by the time they leave kindergarten that some, perhaps even many, are not developmentally prepared to do.”
One kindergarten teacher who wishes to remain anonymous shared her thoughts.
“I have taught kindergarten for 30 years. I watched the half day turn to full day. I remember arguing that it couldn’t become first grade. That they would need all the music, gym and art classes that were offered to all the students and that these things should be in the afternoon as young children are far more capable of learning academic content in the morning (my personal observations over teaching half day programs for many years). I also argued that the academic content needed to remain developmentally appropriate. That playtime (not centers or selected toys each day) was not negotiable. They must have full and unstructured free play where the teacher simply sits back and observes their social emotional development (which has also been wrongly standardized).
Sadly, kindergarten children in my school are in reading groups, participating in the Daily 5 reading workshop model, expected to do independent work while I work with small groups, we have a math program that is TOO HARD and developmentally inappropriate but touts being common core aligned which it really isn’t. Which should be a good thing, but it isn’t.
Testing: I have to give a math and reading assessments bi-weekly (summative assessments), AIMSweb testing three times a year, MAP Testing 3 times a year, data collection meetings, behavioral assessments, and coming to Illinois soon KIDS Assessment which is a data collection nightmare most parents are unaware of.
So, yea. It’s first grade and then some. I don’t know a kindergarten teacher who isn’t disgusted by all of this. Not one.”