Some early childhood educators worry that pushing young learners to read in kindergarten will jeopardize their fluency down the road. Others say setting expectations prevents disadvantaged children from developing a reading gap early.
Tea Party conservatives and some liberals agree on key criticisms as the new education standards roll out in 45 states: that they're a one-size-fits-all approach, create a de facto national curriculum, put too much emphasis on standardized tests and undermine teacher autonomy.
Lots of interesting fodder for conversation in this PBS Newshour piece, which attempts to put the evolution of the Common Core in context with current changes. Key points raised in the discussion include the role of standardized testing, teachers’ apprehension around Common Core assessments, and renewed attention and focus on teacher education programs.
Many teachers have yet to begin assigning harder, Common Core-approved books. According to a recent Thomas B. Fordham Institute report, a survey of teachers shows that, while many are aware of Common Core’s requirement for assigning harder books, few have yet to implement the changes because they are more focused on reading skills.
Some educators are looking forward to incorporating the new standards, encouraged by what they consider to be a higher level of rigor, but others believe big questions must be addressed before the standards are adopted.