Standards Stressing Kindergarteners Out

27.1n014Parents here is what the Common Core is doing to your children.

From the New York Post:

Way beyond the ABCs, crayons and building blocks, the city Department of Education now wants 4- and 5-year-olds to write “informative/explanatory reports” and demonstrate “algebraic thinking.”

Children who barely know how to write the alphabet or add 2 and 2 are expected to write topic sentences and use diagrams to illustrate math equations.

“For the most part, it’s way over their heads,” a Brooklyn teacher said. “It’s too much for them. They’re babies!”

In a kindergarten class in Red Hook, Brooklyn, three children broke down and sobbed on separate days last week, another teacher told The Post.

When one girl cried, “I can’t do it,” classmates rubbed her back, telling her, “That’s OK.”

“This is causing a lot of anxiety,” the teacher said. “Kindergarten should be happy and playful. It should be art and dancing and singing and learning how to take turns. Instead, it’s frustrating and disheartening.”

The city has adopted national standards called the Common Core, which dramatically raise the bar on what kids in grades K through 12 should know.

The jargon is new, too. Teachers rate each student’s performance as “novice,” “apprentice,” “practitioner” or “expert.”

Kindergartners are introduced to “informational texts” read aloud, such as “Garden Helpers,” a National Geographic tale about useful pests.

After three weeks, kids have to “write a book about what they’ve learned,” with a drawing and sentences explaining the topic.

In math, kids tackle concepts like “tally chart,” “combination,” and “commutative property,” DOE records show.

Read the rest.

Folks this isn’t rigorous.  This is INSANE and shows that the Common Core ELA and Math Standards were written by those who don’t have an iota of a clue about basic child development.  Have they read Erik Erickson’s stages of social-emotional development and Piaget’s stages of cognitive development?

Then there’s language development.  Here are some benchmarks for a typical five year-old.

  • Can use many descriptive words spontaneously-both adjectives and adverbs
  • Knows common opposites: big-little, hard-soft, heave-light, etc
  • Has number concepts of 4 or more
  • Can count to ten
  • Speech should be completely intelligible, in spite of articulation problems
  • Should have all vowels and the consonants, m,p,b,h,w,k,g,t,d,n,ng,y (yellow)
  • Should be able to repeat sentences as long as nine words
  • Should be able to define common objects in terms of use (hat, shoe, chair)
  • Should be able to follow three commands given without interruptions
  • Should know his age
  • Should have simple time concepts: morning, afternoon, night, day, later, after, while
  • Tomorrow, yesterday, today
  • Should be using fairly long sentences and should use some compound and some complex sentences
  • Speech on the whole should be grammatically correct

And for a six year-old:

  • In addition to the above consonants these should be mastered: f, v, sh, zh, th,1
  • He should have concepts of 7
  • Speech should be completely intelligible and socially useful
  • Should be able to tell one a rather connected story about a picture, seeing relationships
  • Between objects and happenings

At seven years-of-age:

  • Should have mastered the consonants s-z, r, voiceless th, ch, wh, and the soft g as in George
  • Should handle opposite analogies easily: girl-boy, man-woman, flies-swims, blunt-sharp short-long, sweet-sour, etc
  • Understands such terms as: alike, different, beginning, end, etc
  • Should be able to tell time to quarter hour
  • Should be able to do simple reading and to write or print many words

I hope this angers you.  It does me.


If you think the frustration will stop in Kindergarten, think again.  Perhaps this is a case of unintended consequences.  More than likely it’ll be the basis for a push for earlier and earlier government intervention into early childhood.

7 thoughts on “Standards Stressing Kindergarteners Out

    • My wife and I as well, but the Common Core will start to impact homeschoolers as it drives testing – ACT, etc. I don’t know what state you homeschool in, but if your state requires testing of any kind you could see an impact that way as well.


  1. Erik Erikson is a good reference; Piaget, I have to draw the line on. Piaget is used as an excuse to delay the teaching of standard algorithms to children in the belief that by doing so interferes with the normal development process in which the child constructs his or her own meaning (per Kamii’s “research” on the subject as written in her seminal paper “The Harmful Effects of Algorithms on Young Children”.


  2. When I was in school, I was required to know the names of all 50 states and their capitals, along with their location on the map. In 3rd grade I “graduated” to writing
    with a pen instead of a pencil (except for math) and learned to write in
    script/cursive. I learned about the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I & II, etc. In English, I diagrammed sentences and learned to correctly write a paragraph. Spelling mistakes were marked on papers for all subjects. Recess gave us a break during lunch while in elementary school, and PE in junior high and high school helped us stay in
    shape. School lunches were balanced, meat with veggies and fruit and a small
    amount of bread, along with 8 oz of milk. Candy and soda machines were in the
    teachers’ lounge. Each morning began with the Pledge of Allegiance and the National

    Now-a-days kids are force-fed a diet of liberal civics and know more about other countries’ geography than they do of their own. I recently wrote my 13 year old granddaughter a note in cursive and learned she could not read it because she’d never been taught to. I was absolutely dumbfounded to learn that.

    Back then, when students acted up in school and teachers reprimanded them, it was the student who suffered the consequence of their bad behavior. My father warned me that for every lick I received in school, I’d get 2 at home and I knew he meant it. My 5 year old grandson was enrolled in kindergarten this last August and during the day trashed the classroom. His father (daughter’s ex) returned in the afternoon to pick him up and was told about the situation. His response was to tell the teacher it was somehow her fault and as a result, his son’s shadow would never darken their door again. (I’ll bet the teachers
    breathed a sigh of relief.)

    And now you have the Chicago Teachers’ Union abandoning their classrooms to go on strike because they don’t want to be held accountable for doing a bad job; while demanding higher salaries. No wonder Johnny can’t read – especially in Chicago!


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