The Common Core ELA standards lay out a pretty clear, if ambitious, picture of what a student ought to be able to do (and know) at a variety of demarcation points along the K-12 educational scale.
A question I have is (and I am wondering if anyone else has this question), “What foundational literacy skills are pre-requisite to entering K in order to be well-prepared to meet the demands of Common core?”
After all, a host of presuppositions have been made about the skills a student will own before they enter kindergarten but where are they illuminated?
Without this guideline, parents are just throwing darts in the dark.
We know what CC expects kids to be able to do by the end of K, 1, 2 and so on but what do they need to know before K in order to be able to meet these aims by the end of K?
The answer is most certainly not, “Uhm, nothing… just send your kids as is?”
Yet, why does CC make inferences about these foundations instead of identifying them clearly for us?
- Too much work to do so?
- An oversight which no one really considered when they were locked in the think tank?
- Too little expertise owned by the authors of CC at the primary level?
We’re already hearing lots of criticism about how little attention seems to have been paid to the cognitive development of primary learners whereas a whole lotta expertise seems evident in the secondary expectations. To wit, here’s a piece of an argument written by Joanne Yatvin:
“…I could not see many elementary school children of any background or ability meeting the standards at the grades designated. In my view, as a former elementary teacher and principal, the standards overestimate the intellectual, physiological, and emotional development of young children, asking them to think analytically as they read or write, extract subtle meanings from a text, and make fine distinctions within and across texts. Such deliberative and intensive behaviors are not supported by the research on child development, nor are they expected anywhere else in children’s lives today.”
People are asking where the research is. I am willing to grant the authors of CC the latitude that they actually do have the research in their back pockets – not that I have yet seen it – because, hey, if you don’t, my goodness are you in for a karmic journey across the rack of teacher wrath and public humiliation. I mean it’s not like ALL OF AMERICA is watching. And if it turns out that you showed up to this game without all your ducks in order thinking that you’d just be able to pull the wool over all our eyes, well… I’ll save that for future blog fodder.
Me, I am curious about the skills you very much infer as needing to be owned by a kindergartener before you actually enter K.
Common Core: Kan U Speel IT ouut pleeze?