Susan Ochshorn: New York Regents Just Threw the Young Children Under the Bus

By dianeravitch

Susan Ochshorn is an expert on early childhood education. She runs an organization called ECE Policy Works. She has been urging the New York Regents to throw out the Common Core standards for young children and replace them with developmentally appropriate standards. They ignored her advice.

She writes here.

We are violating everything that is known, which is considerable, about how children develop and learn best. We are stealing their childhood, robbing them of play, the primary engine of human development.

We have empirical evidence that kindergarten has become the new first grade, and preschool the new kindergarten. Across the country, and in New York, we have relegated play to an hour a day or less for five-year-olds, and a growing number of four-year-olds. One three-year-old I know recently brought home work sheets from her early childhood program.

Children are being assessed at younger and younger ages. We’re condemning them to the tread mill before they can even lace up their running shoes.

This is decidedly not how young children thrive. They learn through play, exploration, inquiry, and movement. It’s absurd to expect them to sit quietly, to passively receive information and regurgitate it back. We talk endlessly about producing critical thinkers, innovators, but we’re eliminating the kind of teaching and learning that nurtures them.

With New York’s Pre-K through 2nd grade standards, early childhood teachers are under massive pressure to get children to meet the benchmarks. Growing numbers are convinced that they’re committing malpractice, that they’re actually doing harm. Many have used the term child abuse.

In measuring young children by these standards, we deny their uniqueness, ignoring their strengths and vulnerabilities. We deny their human right to a rich, joyful educational experience.

New York policymakers are deluded in thinking that their efforts can close …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core