The first draft of the "Arizona Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics" has been completed and is available for public comment on the Arizona State Board of Education website. Click HERE to read them.
We have until Oct. 3, 2016 to submit comments. Some improvements over Common Core include: 1) the removal of wording that directed teachers how to teach a standard in a specific way, 2) the over-emphasis on informational text has been lifted, and 3) cursive writing is back in.
Unfortunately, the standards you will see in Kindergarten through Grade 3 continue to be developmentally inappropriate. Young children are not little adults. Their brains haven’t developed to where they can reflect on their own thinking. They cannot think abstractly. They cannot empathize or view the world as others do.
In Kindergarten especially, children are internally motivated to be independent and creative, and this is very important to them. They are learning to tie their shoes, erect a sand castle, pull up their pants, tie a bow. They are working on competence, mastery, and creativity.
This is not the time to encourage dependence and conformity. It is not appropriate to demand that they express opinions about an author’s motives, or collaborate and seek others’ suggestions and incorporate them into their writing. Some children will “get it.” However, many more won’t. Teachers will have to drill, drill, and drill the right responses into them. This time would be better spent teaching grade-appropriate materials. Children who cannot meet these standards will experience much stress and a loss of creativity. They will wrongly suffer disapproval from teachers and parents, and might be considered “delayed” and subjected to remedial classes they don’t need. See Dr. Megan Koschnick’s 9/9/2013 videotaped presentation, which she gave at a conference at the University of Notre Dame. The event was sponsored by American Principles Project.
If you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, concerned citizen, or if you specialize in child development, please comment on some of these inappropriate standards. Please also copy me at firstname.lastname@example.org, so I can share your comments with members of our Mommy Lobby. We want to ensure that the State Board is made aware of these serious issues.