Is Kindergarten a Place of Joy or Data Gathering?
Parents don’t need data sets to know that if a young child is not ready to learn a skill (but is pushed to do so) or if learning that skill becomes extremely stressful, that child may very well shut down. Parents also don’t need data retrieval to know that every child has unique developmental growth. A ‘non-proficient’ kindergartner is not doomed to being a poor reader the rest of her life unless her early experience is so dreadful she refuses to engage in that activity again. That will teach her to ‘hate reading’ and the love of reading may be lost forever. Or, perhaps in the current educational reform environment students are experiencing, this stressful experience will determine that she needs to develop more ‘grit’ and resilience. If she can’t deal with stress at age 5, then point her toward the social emotional goals she should strive to attain to persevere through her non-proficiency status at a young age:
If she’s developmentally not ready to read, how will she be tracked when the proficiency level is set for what all 5 year olds should be doing? What happens to a child who understands that her abilities at age 5 are not up to par with other children? How do children internalize the feeling of failure at an early age? Do some become persistent or do some withdraw?
Raise your hand if you are a parent and have more than one child. Now raise your hand if your parenting style is exactly the same for each child and each child has turned out the same. Raise your hand if all your children achieved developmental milestones at the same time. Probably there are none of you with your hand still raised.
It makes you wonder if any of these Common Core choice architects even have children. If they do, you wonder if their children are in public school experiencing the data driven education that determines if they are proficient on unvalidated assessments.
Here is a 2009 interview from Philip Kovacs and his ideas on education reform.