Getting children “kindergarten ready” is just as important as college and career readiness, argues Elanna Yalow in Education Week. She wants “common standards for early-childhood learning” that “both capitalize on the unique abilities and interests of all children and create a clear path to helping them develop the skills they will need in school and beyond.”
Much of the development that influences achievement throughout life occurs before children even set foot in school, and kindergarten teachers will tell you that they are not molding fresh pieces of clay. Not only do we need to create consistency across state lines for early learning, but we also need to expand content areas beyond language arts and mathematics, the focus of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, to include social and emotional competencies that are the foundations of learning itself.
It’s critical that children arrive at kindergarten with the cognitive, emotional, and social skills needed to succeed. We know that children who start behind tend to stay behind.
Children develop at very different rates. Is it possible to create a common standard for all five-year-olds?