This is from the Alliance for Childhood. I hope you'll take actions they outline...
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standards be withdrawn and reconsidered: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.
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
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.
With warm regards,
Joan Almon and Ed Miller