According to the New York State English Language Arts Standards which outline student expectations, kindergarten students should be able to,
• Share reading experience to establish, maintain, and enhance personal relationships
• Respect the age, gender, and cultural traditions of the writer, with assistance
• Recognize the vocabulary and writing conventions (e.g., greetings and closings) of social communication, with assistance
• Share writings and drawings with peers or adults; for example, write/draw with a partner or in a cooperative group
• Respect the age, gender, and culture of the recipient, with assistance
• Write friendly letters to others
• Maintain a portfolio of writings and drawings for social interaction, with assistance
• Respect the age, gender, and culture of the speaker
• Listen to friendly notes, cards, letters, and personal narratives read aloud to get to know the writer and/or classmates
• Listen for the tone of voice and content that signal friendly communication
• Participate in small or large group storytelling, singing, and finger play, in order to interact with classmates and adults in the classroom and school environment
• Share favorite anecdotes, riddles, and rhymes with peers and familiar adults
• Respect the age, gender, and interests of the listener
• Discuss the content of friendly notes, cards, letters, and personal narratives, with a partner or in a small group, to get to know the writer and each other
Have School Board members ever read the New York State Common Core Standards?
Trying to exact these expectations from students who come into school without a pre-school or English speaking background and who are crowded into a classroom of twenty or more with one teacher is insane. Testing and evaluating five year old children on the skills outlined above does nothing more than begin the cycle of failure.
Early Childhood educators know that in kindergarten, children need to build social and academic skills through play that engages the imagination.
Educators, parents, community members must stand together to stop this madness. It is killing the spirit, imagination, and love of learning in our children.
Join the Movement to Save Our Children!