Megan Koschnick(Washington, DC) Today the American Principles Project (APP), in conjunction with the Pioneer Institute and the Heartland Institute, released a video of Dr. Megan Koschnick’s presentation discussing how certain aspects of the Common Core standards are developmentally and age inappropriate.  Dr. Koschnick gave her presentation at a September 9, 2013 conference at the University of Notre Dame.  APP, Heartland, and Pioneer sponsored the conference, entitled “The Changing Role of Education in America: Consequences of the Common Core.”

“Why do we care if [Common Core standards] are age inappropriate? Well, you can answer that with one word – stress,” said Dr. Megan Koschnick during her presentation. “Instead of thinking about what’s developmentally appropriate for kindergarteners, they are thinking [college] is where we want this kindergartener to end up, so let’s back track down to kindergarten and have kindergarteners work on these skills from an early age. This can cause major stress for the child because they are not prepared for this level of education.”

Dr. Koschnick’s presentation echoes the concerns set forth in the Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals on the Common Core Standards Initiative (March 2, 2010) and with the concerns set forth in the The Answer Sheet blog in the Washington Post, entitled A Tough Critique of Common Core on Early Childhood Education (January 29, 2013). This blog, written by Edward Miller and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, quoted Dr. Carla Horowitz of the Yale Child Study Center as stating, “The Core Standards will cause suffering, not learning, for many, many young children.”

Reactions to Dr. Koschnick’s presentation at the Notre Dame conference, by those who were in attendance, include:

Khadine Ritter of Ohio:  “As a mother of two young children, I am astounded by the irresponsibility of those in government who seemingly never consulted child development experts to determine if these standards were age appropriate.  They are toying with a generation of students, but we won’t see the detrimental consequences until it is too late. I hope public officials will now do their homework and watch Dr. Koschnick’s important presentation.”

Professor Gerard Bradley of University of Notre Dame Law School:  “Many critical observers of Common Core have focused upon the inadequate math and ELA standards at the high school end of education — and rightly so.  But, Dr. Koschnick’s arresting presentation tells us that there is much to criticize at the front end, as well.”

APP Education Director Emmett McGroarty:  “Dr. Koschnick sets forth her concerns as a child psychologist in clear, but troubling, detail.  I urge every parent, every teacher, and every administrator to watch Dr. Koschnick’s presentation and to read the Joint Statement and the blog article by Mr. Miller and Ms. Carlsson-Paige.”

Heartland Institute’s Joy Pullman:  “Dr. Koschnick’s analysis makes it clear what other early childhood professionals have said: Common Core asks small children to behave like little adults, and they are not little adults. Anyone who cares for a small child could tell you this. This is a further consequence of the Common Core lead writers’ lack of experience and professional reputation, and of its committees excluding experts in early childhood.”

Jamie Gass, Director of Pioneer Institute’s Center for School Reform: “In addition to the weaker academic content in Common Core’s ELA and math standards, it now appears that due to haste and inexperience Common Core’s authors also introduce material to schoolchildren at developmentally inappropriate ages. Given this new and troubling information drawn from Dr. Koschnick’s analysis, it’s not difficult to see why parents and a growing number of child psychologists across the country are up in arms over Common Core’s deficiencies.”

You can watch the video of Dr. Koschnick’s full presentation here or below:

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      1. Pam – if you are on facebook, join your state group to connect with others in your area so you can work together. In Iowa, it is Most other states have groups too. But the number one thing you need to do is contact your state legislators and let them know how you feel about common core. Many of them are not aware that this is a concern to their constituents.

      2. Leave your political agenda out of education. This is not a reply in support of CCSS agenda, it is a reply to object to your political agenda. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      3. Maybe Roxanne cares about what crap is being taught to her kids! If you don’t care, Bob, YOU should be ashamed of yourself!

      4. Maybe Roxanne cares, but is ignorant and/or misinformed about what is actually being taught, and how. She links to Breitbart, just that is enough to warrant suspicion. I know parents like that, they think there is only one side to a story and their kid always tells the truth to them. When the kid does poorly in school, it isn’t the kid’s fault, there must be something wrong with the teacher, the curriculum, with CCSS, etc. The biggest problem with our education system is not the schools or the teachers, it is the parents who don’t hold their kids accountable.
        By the same token, every school is different and many schools have A LOT to do to improve and fix deficiencies, and there are bad teachers out there. We can fix these things, bad parents hinder our ability to do so because they don’t hold their kids accountable.

      5. Bob, how would someone actually show objection to CCSS? Sending a political message may be the only way to do it in an impactful way.

  1. This is the largest grassroots initiative in the country right now. The first thing you must do is educate yourself, before you seek to educate others. There are great materials to access at Pioneer Institute, American Principles Project, Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, Cato, and others. Find out who is involved in your state and join them. Contact your state representative and senator and demand that they hold public hearings on Common Core. Host a Common Core informational event in your town. Start a letter to the editor campaign. There is much you can do.

    1. see, eagnews dot org slash commoncore slash
      to be directed to a national map, click on your state to find groups gathering to defeat it. It can be dismantled but only as it was built, one state at a time. or preferably, simultaneously.

      1. Actually, Bob is correct. Those are right-wing groups who want to dismantle public education. Trusting those groups concerning education is a farce. They have no expertise in the area.

      2. BobSimonhouse is very accurate – the groups listed above have a political agenda and are not the groups educators trust for non-biased, factual information.

    2. Do you know who Cato was? If you do not know how to find the answer, heaven help us all with getting rid of these worthless groups which probably could not tell a student in elementary school from one in high school.

    3. And while you are doing all the footwork to fight against Common Core you could put your energy into working with the students and parents.

      1. There’s something wrong when the standards are above what a child is physically, mentally and emotionally is ready for. This means that it doesn’t matter how much you ‘help’ these children because they cannot do the work. Children are not little grownups. They will get frustrated, give up and be lost, maybe for years, in the education system.

      2. People can pick up some of these skills later on. I always thought I was bad at math because I could not get the ideas into my head fast enough. But when I went to college and took math, something changed. It all began to make sense. I could solve equations in college that I could not master in high school. That is why I like junior colleges so much. They give you a second chance to learn what you may have struggled with earlier. And then you can qualify for college.

    4. I do not have a teaching degree but I have many friends that have been teaching for at least 15-20 years. They find the CORE curriculum to be inappropriate for these young students. My one friend is a psychiatric nurse and her daughter is a Pediatric Pharmacist. These 2 very educated women could not understand the theory of the steps for the math that the Pharmacist’s 4th grade son (youngest of 3) had for homework. Something is terribly wrong with this, and it is not the education of these women.

      1. the reason they don’t understand it is that they were taught one way to solve the problem. i teach 4th, and i teach my kids five different methods to solve multiplication problems. the first three are meant to give them an understanding of what they are doing when they multiply – a foundation of mathematical understanding. problem solving and reasoning, in and out of mathematics, is a real problem in our country. many of our kids cannot think critically. i have open houses with my parents and teach them the algorithms, but didn’t start doing this until i got so much push back.

  2. While we should all be concerned about ensuring young
    children both enjoy school and get a great education, there is nothing about
    the Common Core standards that is inherently developmentally inappropriate. The
    early grades standards emphasize providing children “prompting and support” and
    schools using Core Knowledge (which fully meets the Common Core standards) have
    found that children love engaging with academic content. To better understand
    developmentally appropriate practice, please see E. D. Hirsch’s reply to Nancy
    Carlsson-Paige and Ed Miller:
    And to see how to meet the Common Core literacy standards while giving children
    a wonderful foundation of knowledge and skills, please take a look at Core
    Knowledge Language Arts:

    1. You are referencing the literary standards of Common Core. What scares me as an educator is the expectations in math in Common Core standards. It expects kindergarten thru third grade children to be able to understand and apply abstract mathematical concepts. The vast majority of children at this age do not have the necessary brain development to understand abstract ideas. They are very black and white; right and wrong. Expecting and demanding them to met these standards will harm them far more than never teaching them anything at all. They will learn that math is too hard. They will learn that they stupid. It sets them up for failure before they have barely begun their academic journey.

      1. What is an abstract mathenatical concept for a Kindergartner? 1+1=2 is not abstract. I would guess math doesn’t get abstract until middle school at the earliest, with Algebra for example.
        I highly doubt you’re an edcuator. I hope you’re not anyway. Wait, i know, you teach at a private school. Good. Stay there.

      2. How about decomposing numbers less than or equal to 10 in pairs in more than one way?

        How about for any number 1 through 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, and represent with a drawing or equation?

        I value high standards myself and can actually see the point of asking kindergartners to do these things. However I also understand the developmental dilemma of asking children to do things that may simply not be age appropriate and think it is worthy of discussion.

        Finally, it’s clear to me when you say “1 + 1 = 2 is not abstract” you have zero concept as to what the standards entail. As such, telling someone else to keep their “political agenda” out of it is an argument you are simply not well informed enough to make.

      3. Your first example is too complex for a K. They don’t know how “decomposing” relates to numbers. Frankly, I don’t know what the hell you’re getting at in that problem either.
        Your second one is better, a K could learn that one, but it would take work.
        My 1+1=2 point had nothing to do with the standards. It is something a K can grasp, and is not abstract at all. I was refuting the comment I replied to.
        My understanding is quite sufficient to push back on political arguments that are out of place. Thank you for the reply though.

      4. Don’t tell someone you hope they’re not an educator and then fail to capitalize the word “I”.

      5. AMEN! I am right there with you on that. My third graders are having such a hard time with abstract thinking. We need to teach basics. Once they have a stable background of concepts then you can give them abstract problems. I have third graders who still can’t borrow properly, but they need to be able to solve a two step word problem with an algorithm set up like this 25-15+s=52. RIGHT!!!!

    2. Uuuh would this mean that you work for the company that sells the Core Knowledge Program? Not, by the way, based on the Core Curriculum Standards, but much older than that? Sorry…but someone in the educational publishing field has too much to lose to be an objective speaker about the standards. Also, from what I can tell about the information available on both of you, you are not, nor have you ever been, a teacher. An Ed. Doc. does not give you classroom experience. The people you are attempting to refute both taught and/or still teach. Until you have been in a classroom watching your group of five and six year olds sit with tears running down their cheeks, unable to do what is demanded of them, KNOWING that there is not a developmental basis for it, PLEASE…stop commenting on the things you think you understand.

    3. Whether this is currently appropriate is missing the point of the major objections to Common Core.
      The framework of Common Core allows for the up-line creators to insert anything they desire into the pipe-line. Sorry but I am not a trusting soul considering these people that implemented Common Core did so intentionally away from the knowledge of parents and the general population, until time for roll-out.
      In common fashion of Liberal dis-regard of those of us not Liberal, Common Core came into being in a scheme fashion that bypasses local awareness in favor of the ‘common good’ of equalized teaching, and ‘means justifying the ends’. It goes against the grain of our country’s educational state level liberty.
      Common Core is nothing less than a private takeover of our educational system designed supported by Federal NCLB grants as a bribe to give unelected people access and control of our children’s minds.

      1. Right, so there is nothing wrong with CCSS on its face. You’re just upset they didn’t tell you about it sooner. Whatever. Leave your politics off the school grounds. And frankly, I don’t want elected people to have access and control of children’s minds. I don’t want academics to have it either. Academics should feed the teachers and parents and teachers and parents are the only ones who should have access. Cue the whining about teacher unions?

      2. You’re quite the little whiney/negative Common Core cheerleader aren’t you Bobby? I bet you are quite the good at your government job too. Most people here would like to change the piss poor public education that our kids are stuck with. You are just here to be a cheerleader and argue apparently.

      3. And based on your response it sounds like you are here to do nothing but whine about government workers. Why don’t you try to make an actual point instead of writing a paragraph demeaning every single person who was willing to make the choice to be a public school teacher or some other government job. I bet you know a lot about public education, being someone who does not teach for a living? And I bet everyone at your private sector work place works harder, is smarter, and is overall a better human than us lazy piss poor government workers, right? The attitude of people like you is the real problem.

      4. Sure, I see a political argument within an educational topic, I’ll argue with it. I want to improve public education too, I’m starting to think CC is a step in the right direction.

  3. I don’t know what to think of CCSS. Just on principle I want the Feds to stay out of it, so thats a mark against CCSS. Conversely, we can’t trust political groups like APP, Pioneer Institute and Heartland Institute because they have a political agenda so will say anything and spend any amount to further their agenda.
    Koschnick’s presentation is great. Its too bad it is being perverted by these political think tanks for their political agendas.

    1. The CCSS are largely supported by private institutions and corporate entities (Pearson is one example, Bill Gates is another, the US Chamber of Commerce), though many politicians on both sides of the aisle are on board. Private companies have a lot to gain, in terms of tax payer dollars for scripted lessons and assessments, if the standards are implemented. Opposition to the CCSS may, ironically, may be the issue that unites left and right in this country.

    2. CC was actually started by State Governments, the Governor’s Association to be exact. Educators have been in on the thought and planning of this since the beginning. This was all in response to business and college complaints that students were graduating unready for college or the workforce. The hope is to raise the expectations so that kids graduate more ready for their futures.

  4. As of teacher of very young very handicapped Kindergarteners, I can confidently state that the CCSS are very difficult [next to impossible] for my students to achieve mastery in. They are expecting ALL children to achieve the same level of competence in skills that they are neither prepared for developmentally nor have the cognition to understand. The only difference between this and NCLB is that they are providing a scope and sequence for all states to adhere to. I can accommodate and modify until the cows come home, but if your IEP goal for the year is to understand and count to 5, how in the heck are you going to master to 100? Unrealistic , uncompromising and very very sad. ;o(

    1. This has always been how it is in special education. that is why there are different standards for different levels of special education students,

      1. There may be different standards for some children, but there are NOT different tests for children with those accommodations. All children will still take the same test and the GOVT will be looking for proficiency from all no matter what the accommodation.

  5. I’m a teacher in Massachusetts who is determined to stop the CC man-made disaster, and I was really encouraged to find this story (linked in Education Week, no less!)

    There’s a very wide opposition building to the imposition of Common Core policies in communities everywhere. Here is education historian Diane Ravitch’s book that debunks the whole project. It came out Monday, and is already in the top 100 for all book orders at Amazon!

    If you aren’t determined to stop it already, watch this news video of a father in Baltimore being manhandled and arrested for trying to ask his question at a Common Core “informational” meeting.,0,7127220.story

    1. That guy is ignorant of facts, and disrupted a public meeting. This was not his opportunity to get on his soapbox and spew his rants. As a teacher, I am questioning your thoughts as well. Why are you opposed to Common Core? Teachers should want standards increased, which is what Common Core does. We should be expecting more out of our students, not less.

  6. I knew the Common Core was completely inappropriate for elementary students. It is badly written and should have been tossed out the window. We know a great deal about how a child develops and what is appropriate for them to be doing at certain ages. The word “college” has no place in a curriculum for young children. I am so glad that I never had to do the junk that I am supposed to teach second grade students now. It is destroying education for these young students. They need to be doing more creative things and not taking these ridiculous tests on a computer to see what area of reading they are weak in. Test manufacturers love to sell this stuff and people are so obsessed with data that unless you actually work with young children and know that they are not mini adults, you forget that they want to please the teacher for the most part and need to work on their find motor skills. When I started teaching, I used to bring my pet rabbit to school with me. The students loved the bunny and I taught them so much about treating animals and people with respect. I showed them how bunnies live and how to read their nonverbal communication with us. I never had a problem with biting because the kids knew when the bunny had had enough and left her alone. She was also a calming influence and when the kids got too loud, I would tell them to quiet down for the bunny. All the fun and enjoyment has gone out of teaching now and I am sick and tired of being told how wonderful computers are for learning. I see no difference between a book and a computer except the cost. I used to make sure that everyone had PE each day and got some exercise. Now the kids sit and take so many fill in the bubble tests or have to wait while the teacher gives a test on a computer that school is not about learning but about recording information, most of which I find useless. You know when a child can not read by listening to them. I remember teachers telling me that all the students will learn to read but not at the same time. Parents did step up to the plate and provide extra practice at home if it was necessary. No one blamed the teacher if their child did not learn as quickly as other children. I remember spending a lot of time learning long division but I did it. I am fed up with all the changes and the federal government coming up with plans like No Child Left Behind. There is a complete lack of common sense in education these days, I have shown the common core standards to college educated people and they think that these standards are as meaningless as I do. What a waste of time, money and effort. No one should become a teacher right now. Even the review process has become so cumbersome that it is not worth the effort. Major in chemistry and subjects that will help you become a doctor or other health care worker so as the baby boomer generation keeps growing older, you might have a job.

    1. Lisa, I have been teaching 24 years, and I know that we cannot teach students the same way today that we did even ten years ago. The world is an entirely different place, and whether we prefer a book over a computer really doesn’t matter. We have to prepare kids for their futures, and having bunnies in the classroom doesn’t cut it any longer. Sure, there’s a time and a place for that, early primary perhaps, but even those kids can achieve more if we raise the expectations. Children need problem solving opportunities, and the skill of using a computer and creating tasks and projects is important to their future. They are never too young to be introduced to that, even in very small steps for the little kiddos. I teach 4th grade, and my kids produce great things using computers, and they have lots of fun doing it. It is engaging for them, and highly interesting to them. These kids were born and will grow up in a digital age. It is their way of life, and we have to adapt our teaching to that. No Child Left Behind was definitely a farce, and left more kids behind than ever before. My hope is that Common Core will be better. I attended several Common Core workshops last year as a representative for my district, and yes, it will be tough, but we have to change. In our country, state by state, the expectations are so different. We need to make sure that kids in every state are receiving a quality education. Our kids are falling behind the rest of the world.

      1. This is the problem with CC…Judie, you think you know how to teach kids better than Lisa, Lisa thinks she knows how to teach kids better than Judie. We all know how and what to teach our kids. We are professional teachers. The government can’t tell any of us how to do our jobs better than we already know how. I certainly don’t need a bureaucrat in D.C. telling me how and what to teach my kids.

      2. I am sick and tired of hearing how today’s children are different than they were even ten years ago. From a biological viewpoint, this makes no sense at all. People have been the same for the last 5,000 years. No evolution has taken place. Expectations change but people do not. Science has advanced and so has mechanical objects. Even the computers in your room will be obsolete in about ten years. People have been solving problems forever. Otherwise our species would be extinct by now. You need to use that brain in your head as the problem solver and realize the limitations of a machine. Machines are only as good as what information is put into them and that information can be flawed. You better start teaching your students to understand that computers are not perfect and they had better start thinking for themselves. And please, stop saying your students have produced great things. Have they cured cancer? Stopped overpopulation? No, so you are completing overstating what they are doing. But I have noticed the tendency to exaggerate is common in education. I do not think anything will take the place of actual human communication done directly. Way too many verbal, visual, and communication done through body language is lost. There is no virtual world. That is an idea to sell more machines, The Common Core is ultimately funded by Bill Gates, Just google Bill Gates and Common Core. He is no philanthropist but he will make a lot of money out of Common Core. My bunny story was just to show the importance of actual communication with living things and not computers. Computers are just a tool and nothing more. I remember a friend of mine who is a chemistry professor now and how appalled he was that students would use a calculator on an algebra test. As he put it, you use the computer in your head. I do know that almost everyone in my high school went to college and that was in 1979.

      3. Oh wow, I cannot believe a professional educator can actually say that children are the same as they were 5000 years ago. People do change. Oh this just makes me laugh.

      4. I think the powers that be should stay out of it. CC will be a failure just as all the previous initiatives in education have been. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel. We need to go back to basics and allow our wonderful teachers to do what they do best: TEACH!!! I would never recommend any young and vibrant person to chose a career in education, it’s a big fat sham!!! Our poor teachers are not to blame for the system and its failures. It’s heart breaking and totally demoralizing.

    2. I teach kindergarten and you are right. I feel so stressed to make sure all of my students are “proficient”, I feel like I can’t have fun, be silly, or even reward good behavior because there is no time for it. They are all five year olds and I feel like there is no time for exploratory play to learn about the world. Reading and math is being crammed in our faces and the fun learning is thrown out. Oh, sure, they say that should all be included within our reading and math instruction, but, honestly, our time is taken with making each student proficient readers and constant progress monitoring so that we have “data”. The state has cut funding to schools, yet increased the expectations for teachers. Do more with less. We are going to see a huge burn-out for teachers because a person just gets so tired of spending so much time on school work and receiving no help to get it all done. Also, computers in early childhood are a hinderance, if you ask me. Just one more thing for the teacher to manage. Takes time away from the students every time the teacher has to get up to fix a frozen computer.

      1. It is such a shame that students are always being tested and judged even at 5 years old. It just goes to show that child development has been completely ignored by those who love test data. The students will learn to read and do math but not all at the same time. And I know what kids can do to a computer. This should not be done at this grade level at all. These kids need to learn how to socialize, take turns, wait in line – the basic things that make school a place to learn that not everyone has the same values as your family and that you can learn in a large group. You know who can not read without any computer help. No amount of pressure from above can make kids into little adults who suddenly understand that they must sit still and practice reading all day. It is strange how I was reading way above grade level without any of this monitoring going on. I was curious about the world and went to the library. My mother took me to the public library twice a month and we all had our reading time. No computer can take the place of parents who encourage reading. And no one is a miracle worker. I am sure new teachers will soon realize the situation and get into another profession fast. I am sure that Common Core will be gone in about ten years due to lack of success.

  7. I just watched the video. She’s an experienced child psychologist and a persuasive speaker, but isn’t a teacher, and isn’t familiar with the reason for including specific goals or benchmarks. She claims young kids can’t reason abstractly, but this is absolutely wrong. Even preschoolers can reason abstractly. (That is the basis of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.) Kids can’t talk about their reasoning, as this speaker pointed out, but they can show how they have reasoned abstractly in math by pointing to pictures, for example. The speaker says 3rd graders should try to be able to communicate the difference between what they know, believe, wonder. I don’t think teachers should expect children to define the terms verbally, as the speaker asked her 8 year old to do, but through examples, teachers can show children how to recognize the differences. Can’t a creative teacher make addition and subtraction more fun to learn, rather than relying on rote memorization, or postponing the lesson for a year or two? If the problem is that kids can’t remember the facts within 3 minutes on a test, change the test. Change the assessment methods, rather than lowering the standards. If the US is going to raise its educational system back up to the top of the global list, we’ve got to raise the benchmarks, and provide professional development training and support for teachers (including a decent salary), so they can make learning possible, even enjoyable. While we’re at it, don’t cut off food stamps, keep the minimum wage low, and cut off access to health insurance so families can’t provide kids with their basic needs. The Heartland Institute which sponsored this talk is a conservative think tank. Their mission is to oppose anything government does, and public schools are funded by the government. This is not a good source of information for public school teachers or public school parents, unless they’re looking for reasons to switch to private schools or charter schools.

  8. This has not been the experience at my school at all. Under proper guidance and instructional leadership, teachers receive professional development prior to any attempts at implementation and the response has been positive from all stakeholders–students included. As for not being academically challenging, if the rigor was absent as this person claims, how can the CCSS be so developmentally inappropriate? The conflicting comments and lack of specifics regarding exactly how the CCSS are inappropriate lead me to believe this person is of the “get the government out of schools” crowd and simply on an anti-campaign. How many classrooms has she taught in using CCSS with primary students? What data and credible evidence has she to offer to support her claim? This woman is not an educator, but a psychologist. Perhaps this is why NCLB was so ill-written and implemented. Teachers were not involved in the developmental process as has been the case with CCSS. I would no sooner tell this person how to treat her clients, let alone take her opinion as professional fact. Do more independent research and actually investigate the intentions, goals, and objectives of CCSS before decrying them as developmentally inappropriate. The use of PLCs in addition to the professional development strengthens implemenation and provides teachers with the tools to differentiate instruction appropriately to assist students with the development of skills.

  9. As a special education teacher of 20 years and military spouse I have to say I like Common Core. My kids like many others that are military children suffer all the time when we have to move from place to place and school to school and the standards are much higher in some places. It puts the educational system as whole on one accord. And that is a good thing.
    When should we introduce college to children? when is it okay to say you can do this? and how long are we going to keep our children behind the rest of the educational world because we don’t want to push them to do more? Children can do, its the parents and the many educators who don’t want to put in the time to do more for them. Its a new day in education and we have to move with it. IJS

    1. Many schools are also being demanded to dumb down many subjects simply because they live in an area that is a agricultural, so they have many migrant children who can’t speak English… they dumb it down for them and forget about the other kids, and as a result those that are more advanced suffer from boredom.

    2. I agree! And to add to your points, Common Core increases the expectations in many states that are far behind others. I work in a state that has very high standards, and our state test is rated second in the country in rigor. A neighboring state has a state test that ranks in the bottom ten. When people talk about standardized tests, they need to remember that there really isn’t a standardized (national) test now. States get to set their own standards and create their own tests. With Common Core, all states that participate will be held to the same high standards, and students will not suffer when they move from one state to another. It is really a no-brainer.

  10. This should not be a subject of debate. Anyone who is involved with education at all can tell you that something in the US system has to change. I’m a current high school student in a private school, but I spent all of elementary and middle school in public schools. My mother is a teacher. Standardized tests are honestly ruining education. We are taught to the standards, nothing more. To make sure we achieve the standards, we are tested and drilled. I remember older teachers talking wistfully of interesting projects they used to be able to assign. As a student who would create a thousand projects before choosing to write a paper or sit in boredom, I can say that our current system isn’t working. Learning isn’t standard. Some students learn faster than average and some slower, and putting this much structure and mind-numbing boredom is too dull for advanced children and too much pressure for kids who need extra help.

    1. Not only that, but I have had teachers who were teaching the remedial classes for the FCAT at the high school level that students have to pass in order graduate high school to my son, which is administered the first time in 10th grade, and they can’t even pass it…….how can we expect children to pass a test that the teacher can’t?

  11. Why is she chewing gum during a presentation? I respect what she is saying however the snapping of her gum is getting in the way of her professionalism. Being a K teacher I agree. I would like to know where the Early Childhood research is that enabled them to appropriately write these standards.

  12. Yes, I agree that the CCSS for language arts are developmentally
    inappropriate. I currently teach middle school language arts in Tennessee, and
    have done so for over 20 years. While there are aspects of common core that I
    like, the rigor of the skills is too difficult. Read the following information
    that we received a week or two ago pertaining to the writing assessment for our

    Administration Time

    The department will release official
    administration times for each grade level this fall after pilot data has been
    analyzed. The administration time for the Writing Assessment will be expanded
    to more closely mimic PARCC’s testing guidelines and allow students to write
    one analytic summary for one text and one analysis across two texts.

    The 2013-14 official Writing
    Assessment will continue to emphasize the following skills at the core of the CCSS for ELA instructional shifts:

    •Reading and comprehending grade-level complex text (as defined by the Common Core text complexity grade bands)

    •Writing in response to sources,including incorporating textual evidence into an analysis or argument.

    The Writing Assessment is modeled after the PARCC Research Simulation Task (RST) and will be structured as follows:

    •Students will read complex informational texts.

    •Texts will cover social studies or science topics in order to demonstrate the range of informational reading possible in a Common Core curriculum.

    •Students will write two essays:

    o One prose constructed response (PCR) essay about the first text. The essay will be an analytical summary.

    o One PCR analytical essay about both texts. The essay will be informational/explanatory or argumentative.

    The Research Simulation Task mimics a research project; its purpose is to assess a student’s ability to read multiple texts on the same topic and synthesize the information into a coherent idea or argument.

    Keep in mind that 6th grade students are 11 and 12 years old!!! Are you
    kidding me! The expectations are completely insane. These are young children,
    not miniature adults. I am afraid that we will be creating a generation of
    students who will loathe reading and writing. While I agree that being able to
    read nonfiction text, answer questions about the text while citing evidence is
    an appropriate and valuable skill, we need to keep in mind that this skill
    should be a PART of the reading and writing curriculum rather than the bulk of
    it. Reading one passage and writing one essay would be an appropriate task for 6th grade students. Also, whatever happened to trying to instill a love of reading?

    Ridiculous! Absolutely ridiculous!

  13. The LAST parochial school in our county has been forced to adopt Common Core. In order to keep their accreditation, they have to teach CC. They cannot teach in their own way anymore. How sad.

    When my daughter entered Kindergarten she had a grip on basic math skills that were appropriate for her age. Now that she has entered second grade and the school has switched to CC, she cannot grasp the new math. She cannot reason and explain her answers. She is stressed already and it’s only September. Argh!!

  14. Dr. Koschnick has excellent points that as a 6th grade math teacher I completely agree with… but the gum-chewing takes away so much from her presentation. 🙁

  15. From these responses, it is clear that I would not want most of you to teach my children how to debate. When someone does not have substantial evidence to support their stance, they resort to tearing down their opponents with angry insults and trying to disqualify their research. For this to be a meaningful exchange, you must give quantitative and measurable evidence to support your statements.

    1. If you look at the work of Piaget and Vigotsky about how children make connections, and the need for using concrete representations to develop understanding of mathematical concepts and not just skills. Most students never have these types of experiences. Let’s talk to a cognitive mathematics educator about the common core and see what he/she thinks. As far as evidence that this type of teaching works, I brought students who were 3 years below grade level up to grade level in one year. Sometime experience is the best research. I am curious about how much actual mathematics learning and teaching experience Dr. Koschmick has had.

  16. I have been teaching elementary mathematics for over 40 years. My
    educational background is as an elementary mathematics specialist with a
    Masters’ degree in K-8 mathematics diagnosis and remediation. I am
    probably one of the first elementary mathematics specialists in the
    country (got the endorsement in 1977). I have worked with a variety of
    state standards and with elementary children of all ages. I can say
    without any doubt that although the CCSSM are not perfect, they are far
    better than any state standards I have seen AND they are absolutely
    developmentally appropriate for the elementary grades. Not only is the
    content appropriate, the expectation for developing conceptual
    understanding is an incredible step forward. No more show and tell from
    the teacher and rote memorization from the kids. If we can teach
    mathematics to children (yes — even kindergarteners) so they
    understand, they may actually be successful. We need to help teachers
    with how to do this (undergrad preparation is woefully inadequate) and
    perhaps think more about an elementary specialist in every classroom.

    the problem is with the assessments, then that is where we should be
    focusing our efforts. Although accountability is important, I am
    troubled by all of the testing that our students (especially elementary
    students) have to complete. Now there is where we can start a

  17. Learning has does changed over the years only technology has. I believe that trying to get children to learn over there expectations can only fail. Every child does not learn or comprehend at the same level. Generations before us did not have the government telling the school what and amount the kids have to learn.

  18. I’m a mother to a second grader. She is doing well academically with CC, but is not doing so well emotionally. She now cries nightly and hates going to school. She says she can’t get all the numbers out of her head and needs to relax in a warm bath nightly. A seven year old needs to destress? I had a child that loved going to school and loved learning. I now have a stressed out child that hates going to school and is overwhelmed.

    1. My disabled granddaughter (age 7) also loved school and was eager to go. Now, with CC implemented, she is stressed, fearful, and cries every morning, because she (quote) “doesn’t fit in.” Even though she has an IEP which states her special need for extra help, she received an F in Math, and a D in ELA (language arts) on the interim report. She is expected to write at least 5 pages of worksheets per day, in complete sentences. After about 2 sentences, her hand muscles are cramped and hurting, due to her Cerebral Palsy. She is in second grade, and her reading is well above that level. She needs extra time to complete things, and she needs the directions explained a second or third time (brain damage due to birth trauma). I don’t know what the protocol is, but I am certain that a child with an IEP should not receive a D or F in any subject. Those grades should be given to the educators who are failing to do their job. This is not a child who refuses to try. There is no attitude problem. I am a retired teacher, and with my one-on-one help, she is able to achieve the goals 97% of the time. An IEP revision meeting has been requested, and we have not received a timely response from the school. The second grade teachers, and the special education teachers are still deciding how they will group the children for teaching Math. This should have been determined in July, not mid-September! At this point, they say that the classroom teachers will take turns teaching lessons by direct instruction. After the lecture, the special education students will be pulled out for assistance in completing worksheets. This sounds very haphazard to me. The children have to learn to accommodate the teaching styles of 3 different teachers. For children who need structure, this is not academically sound. It is imperative that this child’s IEP must not be ignored. This may seem a bit off-subject, but we should begin with the Gym teacher, and remind him that although her AFO (leg brace) is discontinued, she is not capable of running laps. Muscle fatigue sets in after about the 25th stride. During Kindergarten and First Grade, we have kept quiet and let the teachers make all the decisions, respecting their expertise. But now it is time to be more assertive in requesting that her needs be met.

  19. Absolutely! I teach in a Montessori environment that uses these concrete materials to show how children can meet the common core standards using the materials, but with out them the kids show stress as I have seen teaching the same grade level with out these materials. It’s very interesting as well that you must have a Birth through Kindergarten licensure to teach in the state of NC but no Birth through Kindergarten professionals helped to write the cc standards.

  20. We should just copy what the top education system in the world does….I once worked with a German engineer who informed me that the stuff we teach to our college engineering students is what he learned in H.S….Yet that country doesn’t have the stress, they have one of the best economies and workforces on the planet, with the best educated people as well.

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