This came into my mailbox and thought I would pass it on; it concerns the common core standards for childhood education. These core standards, as far as I can see, are not at all based upon any form of traditional childhood development standards as we know of…Please read on for how you can help!
Alliance for Childhood
P.O. Box 444, College Park, MD 20741
Update—March 2010: Rethink the “Core Standards”
As many of you know, the Alliance for Childhood is gravely concerned about the newly proposed “common core standards” for children in kindergarten and the early grades. Hundreds of early childhood health and education professionals have signed the Alliance’s joint statement on the K-3 standards calling for their withdrawal. Now is the time for each of you to take action on this critical issue.
After months of drafting in secrecy, the final proposed version of the K-12 standards was released by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) on March 10. Some aspects of this version are better than the draft that was leaked to the press in January; some are worse. But overall we are sure these standards will intensify an already inappropriate emphasis on cognitive development of young children that is divorced from social-emotional and physical development. Current practices are already causing enormous stress in children’s lives. These new standards will add to that.
The NGA and CCSSO have announced that the proposed standards are “available for comment” until April 2, after which they will revise the standards and issue the final version. Unfortunately, this is not a true public comment process, such as would be required for an important piece of legislation moving through Congress. Yet the federal government has announced that billions of tax dollars—including “Race to the Top” and Title I education funds—will be tied to states’ adopting these standards. We are deeply troubled by this entire process.
The NGA and CCSSO have set up an online survey to collect comments. The survey is rather confusing. Here are the steps you need to take to ask that the early childhood standards be withdrawn and reconsidered:
1. Go to www.corestandards.org.
2. Scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on the link to the questionnaire.
3. At the “Section 2—Feedback” page, choose the third option, “English Language Arts and Mathematics Standards.”
4. The next page asks you to “select the level of feedback you would like to give.” Choose the second option, “General Feedback and Feedback on Specific Sections.”
5. On the “Specific Feedback—English Language Arts” page, check the four boxes for K-5 (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language). This will enable you to select “Remove or entirely rewrite” as your preference if you agree with our position.
6. On the “Specific Feedback—Mathematics” page, check the four boxes for Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3. This will enable you to select “Remove or entirely rewrite.”
It is vital that you submit comments and get friends and colleagues to do the same. It’s a small window of time between now and April 2, but the biggest one Americans have had yet to speak out about the need for strong, experiential, play-based approaches to early education. Use the boxes for “additional comments” in the questionnaire to inform policymakers about your own experiences and concerns about early education.
See the Alliance web site, www.allianceforchildhood.org, to read our statement on the standards, the comments of many of the signers, and more details on how you can respond. Policymakers need to hear from us all, especially parents and teachers. Their voices are rarely heard on educational issues. It’s time to act.
Carrie here: This was a message I received in my in-box and it was too important to not pass it on. Thanks for your help!