Make Your Voice Heard With Alliance For Childhood!

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

Tel/Fax 301-779-1033

Update—March 2010:  Rethink the “Core Standards”


Dear Friends,
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 Here are the steps you need to take to ask that the early childhood standards be withdrawn and reconsidered: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

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,, 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!

Many Blessings,


4 thoughts on “Make Your Voice Heard With Alliance For Childhood!

  1. Carrie,
    Lately I have been pondering childhood play and work (and I completely agree that the work of early childhood is play)….
    I’ve realized that I am confused about what constitutes a good life for a child, and I think my confusion is a reflection of our society’s confusion too.
    I’ve lately realized that my pattern is to feel that my children should be having fun most of the time. We are at home all day, and if what is going on in the house isn’t fun for them, I feel guilty. I think it is because it feels so alone to be home when no one else around us is. Most of the children that we know are off at school. I’ve worked hard to make my house child-inclusive but not child centered, but I constantly feel myself pulled towards being more child-centered, because I want them to be happy about being at home.
    I am pondering balance for children; balance between having fun, being bored, being carried along as I do the work of the house. I think it is a very important question and one that we haven’t figured out in our society. Children used to have to work in order to help their families; now they don’t, and clearly a life designed to entertain them and keep them happy all the time would not be good for them. It reminds me of the quote from Seinfeld that you mentioned about how we have moved so far from what is healthy for a normal childhood that we dance in circles trying to make it up to our children by entertaining them.
    In our house I think community is the key to this question. If we can somehow find a good sense of community then we will feel less alone and I will feel more okay about my children not having fun all the time. We are working on it. Making connections amongst homeschoolers, I have discovered, just takes time. We have been at it about a year, but it takes time to make good friendships in any community.

  2. I only read the joint statement so far, and am glad to see some professors from my alma mater, Wheelock College, listed.

    I’ll have to make it a day of sorting through the PDFs, but as a parent, citizen, graduate from an education-related college, former pre-K-12 educator, having worked on (and hated) K-12 educational materials with one of the top publishing companies, and having been educated on how state assessments are graded, I have to say that it will be a glorious day when the businesses of education are kept out of the entire process of deciding how we should best educate our children.

    When I say “business” I mean the major companies that have a lot to benefit from assessments, classroom materials, certification, etc.- Pearson, HMCo, McGraw-Hill, Prentice Hall, Harcourt, McDougal-Littell, Holt, etc (and yes, many of those companies are part of only two major corporations). So often these companies do not utilize the skills of people who actually have a background in education & children. Just because you know how to write a perfect sentence- or just market it- does not mean you know what a child should be learning. (And the reading selections- either poorly researched, like fairy tales or folklore, or too short for the students who want to know how the story ends.)

    I love education, but not in its current form. I am hoping I will be lucky enough to actually be able to home-school, but that’s in 5 years. I know I will be that troublemaker for our school district when I refuse to subject my child to the MCAS, who will submit detailed reports & samples rather than tests, using a mash-up of Waldorf, project-based learning, anthropology in the classroom, Outward Bound or Space Academy or some other camp-based learning environments, trips to local museums, living history programs, markets, botanic gardens, and a whole slew of resources via Internet, inter-library loan, or inter-personal exploration. And lots and lots of play- outside, inside, artistic, scientific, messy, all-around fun! (Yeah, I’ve been working on this for a while, and my son is barely 9 months old!)


    • I love planning ahead as well…You should definitely blog on your experience as an educator and the inside look at education! Things we rarely think of, the business side of education…
      Thank you for pointing that out Kerrie!

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