From the New York Post:
Way beyond the ABCs, crayons and building blocks, the city Department of Education now wants 4- and 5-year-olds to write “informative/explanatory reports” and demonstrate “algebraic thinking.”
Children who barely know how to write the alphabet or add 2 and 2 are expected to write topic sentences and use diagrams to illustrate math equations.
“For the most part, it’s way over their heads,” a Brooklyn teacher said. “It’s too much for them. They’re babies!”
In a kindergarten class in Red Hook, Brooklyn, three children broke down and sobbed on separate days last week, another teacher told The Post.
When one girl cried, “I can’t do it,” classmates rubbed her back, telling her, “That’s OK.”
“This is causing a lot of anxiety,” the teacher said. “Kindergarten should be happy and playful. It should be art and dancing and singing and learning how to take turns. Instead, it’s frustrating and disheartening.”
The city has adopted national standards called the Common Core, which dramatically raise the bar on what kids in grades K through 12 should know.
The jargon is new, too. Teachers rate each student’s performance as “novice,” “apprentice,” “practitioner” or “expert.”
Kindergartners are introduced to “informational texts” read aloud, such as “Garden Helpers,” a National Geographic tale about useful pests.
After three weeks, kids have to “write a book about what they’ve learned,” with a drawing and sentences explaining the topic.
In math, kids tackle concepts like “tally chart,” “combination,” and “commutative property,” DOE records show.
Folks this isn’t rigorous. This is INSANE and shows that the Common Core ELA and Math Standards were written by those who don’t have an iota of a clue about basic child development. Have they read Erik Erickson’s stages of social-emotional development and Piaget’s stages of cognitive development? (Not that I like every application derived from these theories or agree with everything they have written, but much of it has merit.)
Then there’s language development. Here are some benchmarks for a typical five year-old.
- Can use many descriptive words spontaneously-both adjectives and adverbs
- Knows common opposites: big-little, hard-soft, heave-light, etc
- Has number concepts of 4 or more
- Can count to ten
- Speech should be completely intelligible, in spite of articulation problems
- Should have all vowels and the consonants, m,p,b,h,w,k,g,t,d,n,ng,y (yellow)
- Should be able to repeat sentences as long as nine words
- Should be able to follow three commands given without interruptions
- Should know his age
- Should have simple time concepts: morning, afternoon, night, day, later, after, while
- Tomorrow, yesterday, today
- Should be using fairly long sentences and should use some compound and some complex sentences
- Speech on the whole should be grammatically correct
And for a six year-old:
- In addition to the above consonants these should be mastered: f, v, sh, zh, th,1
- He should have concepts of 7
- Speech should be completely intelligible and socially useful
- Should be able to tell one a rather connected story about a picture, seeing relationships
- Between objects and happenings
At seven years-of-age:
- Should have mastered the consonants s-z, r, voiceless th, ch, wh, and the soft g as in George
- Should handle opposite analogies easily: girl-boy, man-woman, flies-swims, blunt-sharp short-long, sweet-sour, etc
- Understands such terms as: alike, different, beginning, end, etc
- Should be able to tell time to quarter hour
- Should be able to do simple reading and to write or print many words
I hope this angers you. It does me.
If you think the frustration will stop in Kindergarten, think again. Perhaps this is a case of unintended consequences. More than likely it’ll be the basis for a push for earlier and earlier government intervention into early childhood.
Cross-posted from Truth In American Education