Here’s a smart and well observed piece on learning to read:
I am always torn when I read pieces like that of Sarah Blaine, who shared her views on the Common Core State Standards for kindergartners. The gist of her piece, published on Valerie Strauss’s Answer Sheet blog, is that based on her personal experience with her two daughters, she sees the standards as “developmentally inappropriate” for kindergartners.
As a mother myself, I can empathize. I want to be able to say, “Yes, me too. You’re not alone.” And I’m confident that she isn’t alone. I am just not one of the mothers able to agree or stand with her on this.
I am a mother of three boys. One attended kindergarten prior to the rollout of Common Core, another went very early on in the rollout, and the youngest is now in kindergarten in a school that is 100 percent Common Core-aligned. Like Ms. Blaine, I look at all of this from a place of privilege.
Ms. Blaine’s disagreement with the kindergarten standards seems to be much more about her personal choices with regards to when she decided to have her children start school as well as a local cutoff date that appears to allow 4-year-olds to begin kindergarten. She takes particular issue with what she sees as an expectation that “kids develop reading skills at the same pace.”
The evidence in Common Core-aligned classrooms, however, doesn’t bear this out. Schools use a variety of scales to measure a child’s reading levels; they are often called “steps” and each one is identified by a number or a letter. Classrooms and school libraries are loaded with independent reading books that indicate the level of reader for whom they are written and since there are over 20 levels, it’s hard to imagine that anyone expects all kids to be at the same place at the same time.
see the rest at Guess What, Mom? Common Core Can Be Good for Your Kindergartener.