Our New Report! Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose

Today, in conjunction with the Alliance foReading Instruction in Kindergartenr Childhood,  we are thrilled to release our new report Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose. In the report we concluded that Common Core reading requirements for kindergarten are inappropriate and not well-grounded in research. Under Common Core, students are expected to be able to read before entering first grade.

The report maintains that the pressure of implementing the reading standard is leading many kindergarten teachers to resort to inappropriate drilling on specific skills and excessive testing. Teacher-led instruction in kindergartens has almost entirely replaced the active, play-based experiential learning that children need based on decades of research in cognitive and developmental psychology and neuroscience.

In an effort to shift back to a developmentally appropriate, child-centered curriculum, Defending the Early Years and Alliance for Childhood call for the withdrawal of the kindergarten standards from the Common Core so they can be rethought along developmental lines.

Please check out our video for more information! 


Follow on Twitter and join the movement: @DEY_Project @4Childhood #2Much2Soon

Help us spread the word via social media. Here are some sample tweets:

1) #EarlyEd experts @dey_project @4childhood conclude #CCSS Kinder reading requirement is #2much2soon  http://youtu.be/DVVln1WMz0g

2) Why @dey_project @4childhood call for withdrawal of kinder standards from #CCSS http://wp.me/p2bgV6-gl

41 thoughts on “Our New Report! Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose

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  18. I can’t support what you are doing enough. My son is in Kindergarten, and these Common Core Standards are just ridiculous. You are absolutely correct, they are NOT developmentally appropriate. What bothers me is the fact that absolutely nothing is being done about this travesty before it causes even more damage.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Requiring the ability to read in order to be advanced out of kindergarten may be a bit over accelerated. What do you expect, the parent to help them read “War & Peace” while their being potty trained? Understanding the fundamentals of reading, okay fine. To rate the ability of a student based upon what is expected for advancement, creates increased pressure on the child. Training them early in life, before they are psychologically prepared will increase the potential of low self-esteem. While creating a standard in the child’s mind that they have to excellent or they will not be accepted. This may also increase the potential for rebellious adolescents. Every child has their limitations, to meet them and influence exceeding their limits I believe should be our goal, not “if you can’t _____ then you can’t move on”. But hey, we’ll give you a “participation” award just for trying. That’s like giving someone a paycheck just because they showed up to work…


  20. My little boy who just turned 7 was home schooled until this past October. I taught him preschool, kindergarten and he was in first grade. He is such a smart little boy with no interest in reading. I wanted to put him in public school so I took him to our school and before they would enroll him in first grade he had to be tested. Of course he excelled in math but did poor in reading. The principal called me and told me they wouldn’t put him in first grade that he needed to redo kindergarten so he could learn to read. I was really upset. This common core standard should be removed for elementary school. Children learn at different levels and with different methods.

    My son is now the only 7 year old in kindergarten..


    • I agree. And a lot of times, boys have an interest in reading later than girls. Kids in general learn at different levels. My boy, at 13, still doesn’t have an interest in reading! At all. Redoing K at 7? Just because he can’t yet read? Why not focus on where he is at socially with other kids, and his skills across all other developmental areas. Since when should a 7 yr old be in K with 5-6 year olds? Same-age peers are very important in developing appropriate social skills.


    • My son, now 28 yrs. old and a Web Designer for a Business Software Company in Pasadena, CA, did not learn to read until 2nd grade. He wanted to play with dinosaur toys, draw pictures, etc. He just wasn’t interested in reading until he was ready. He, and many others I’m sure, has done just fine, and he was college and career ready also when he was ready.


  21. Hi – Good luck with bringing education in the early years back to evidence based, child centred, learning. Although I am a primary (elementary) school teacher here in New Zealand, we had similar standards imposed on primary school education and the powers that be did exactly the same thing – worked backwards from a high school model – crazy! As with your good selves, there was no professional dialogue, just a political will to impose a system that clings to a ‘one size fits all’ approach to education. I wish you well in the stance you are taking. Meg


  22. It’s so sad that our system is trying to make each and every child perform at the same level. I say do away with Common Core and teach children . Our system wants ALL children on the same story, same page, and same paragraph at the same time: It won’t work..Never has and is not about to happen now! Students learn with different methods and at different levels, so why do they think Common Core is the answer to ALL of Education’s problems?????????? It’s Not!!


    • Not only do they want all children on same page now all teachers need to be doing same thing teaching same way charts all looking the same! Ridiculous! Problem of dropping Common Core standards just for kindergarten would be when they get to first grade! Craziness!


      • This is not entirely true…the way the system is now, teachers are being told to individualize as much as possible (at least in the system I work in). This is great, but here is the problem…the measurements are standardized. The idea of common core is OK in theory, but it is the standardized testing requirements and the developmental levels that are out of whack. The tests are not developmentally appropriate, so teaching things that may not be appropriate happens in order to make sure kids are exposed to things that will be tested. Until we have actual educators helping make educational decisions, and not politicians, there will continue to be issues.


  23. Makes me so sad , that people perceived to be intelligent don’t begin to realize where true intelligence begins, certainly not with force feeding rote learning to young children. Their brains need a strong foundation to start. A house built on sand will fail as will a child’s mind and social emotional development without the cognitive learning experiences that come from the cause and effect as well as the social skills acquired thru play.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Does any one of us seriously believe we would be better readers,had we learned to read in kindergarten? What effect do we actually believe it has on later intelligence? There are so many things the young mind is processing that will truly effect later intelligence. Most importantly how to become the meaningful contributors we so desperately need in a healthy society. Isn’t that what our forefathers had in mind when they fought to provide public education for all?


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