Report: Requiring kindergartners to read may be harmful


By Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

The Common Core State Standards call for kindergartners to learn how to read, but a new report by early childhood experts says that forcing some kids to read before they are ready could be harmful.

Two organizations that advocate for early childhood education — Defending the Early Years and Alliance for Childhood — issued the report titled “Reading in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose.” It says there is no evidence to support a widespread belief in the United States that children must read in prekindergarten or kindergarten to become strong readers and achieve academic success.

The adoption of the Common Core State Standards falsely implies that having children achieve these standards will overcome the impact of poverty on development and learning, and will create equal educational opportunity for all children.

The report says that kindergarten has since the 1980s become increasingly academic — with big pushes from President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and President Obama’s Race to the Top — and that today many children are being asked to do things they are not ready to do.

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Comments (16)
  1. Dogula says - Posted: January 17, 2015

    In education, as in everything else in life, one size does not fit all.
    Centralized government only operates in a one size fits all mode. Why would you want the Federal government determining how your children MUST be taught?
    Oh, that’s right; it’s the funding for the school districts that’s actually important. Not the children.

  2. rock4tahoe says - Posted: January 17, 2015

    Dog. Centralized Government! OMG! Federal Government that gave us Slavery! OMG! Yawn…

    Have you actually been in a Elementary School classroom lately… I see no Swastika’s on the walls nor any sign of “one size” or “must” be taught anything. However, I have “heard” a lot of Parents that could learn a thing or two about language skills.

    I do question this article. I don’t have a problem with kids learning how to read at a young age.

  3. duke of prunes says - Posted: January 17, 2015

    ‘Oh, that’s right; it’s the funding for the school districts that’s actually important. Not the children.’

    Where did you get the idea that the children are not important?
    teabagger news network? the same place that told you about the government wanting to control the people by controlling weather?
    let us know, for comedy

  4. Justice says - Posted: January 17, 2015

    “Common Core” is simply O’Bummer Care for education with the same amount of lies and distortion and teaching the radical leftist agenda. It was developed in 2008 by no other than O’Bummer’s former head of Homeland Security. It should be thrown out ASAP.

  5. rock4tahoe says - Posted: January 17, 2015

    Just@ss. Everything to you is a “radical leftist” plot! 911, leftist plot! Iraq War, leftist plot! Torture, leftist plot! Global Warming, leftist plot! Ebola, leftist plot! Immigration, leftist plot! Clean water, leftist plot! Sunshine, leftist plot! Stock market up, leftist plot! Gas prices down, leftist plot! Unemployment down, leftist plot! GDP up, leftist plot! Education, leftist plot! Apple pie, leftist plot! Anything that happens, good or bad… leftist plot! LMAO!

  6. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: January 17, 2015

    For a little break in the arguing, listen to “The lion sleeps tonight” by Gene Chandler. Also google “The duke of earl” by the Tokens.
    Maybe everyone will feel better tomrrrow and we can all get off to a better start. Crank up the tunes!!! OLS
    p.s hi Duke of Prunes. Anothter great song by Frank! And if you can find it , great clay mationn video by “the Amazing Mr. Bickford”!

  7. Hmmm... says - Posted: January 17, 2015

    Common Core is being pushed by both conservative and liberal groups. Time spent learning to read in Kindergarten should be fun, not forced; minimal at best, an introduction, if you will. Not the goal with standards to test for.

  8. business owner says - Posted: January 18, 2015

    How is hmmm the voice of reason? Dog and hmm are both right. R4t and prune..wake up. If states didnt accept common core they didnt get money. It was designed and pushed by valerie jarrett and buearecrsts not teachers and educators. It has some nasty hidden plans too. It kinda googles our kids as they get older all for corporate interests and advertising..look it up. There was an earlier article about reading to your children. Ive done it for both my kids since they were in the womb..they love it. Leapfrog pen works great to. Be a parent and keep screens outta their face and they will be just fine.

  9. business owner says - Posted: January 18, 2015

    A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.
    Carl sagan

  10. JoAnn Conner says - Posted: January 18, 2015

    The point is, politicians, especially those with no training or education in developmental capacities and environmental impacts on those capacities, should not be setting the standards for educating our children. Children are not ready to perform those tasks and, in many cases, are not physically or mentally able to perform, to the levels of Common Core. Kindergarten is about learning socialization skills, fine and major motor skills, and adapting to routines. Reading, writing, and math are introduced in smaller doses, and the love of education is a seed planted.

  11. Hmmm... says - Posted: January 18, 2015

    Dang BO…I still don’t like you very much…but when you post like your last two entries it makes me wanna think that you might be almost…human. Peace.

  12. rock4tahoe says - Posted: January 18, 2015

    Blame the “Politicians” again… really? Americans need to look in a mirror. I have seen way to many “Parents” more interested in the next tattoo then if their Son or Daughter can read. Many of these “Parents” treat School as just a large baby sitting facility. Education starts in the home.

    South Korea is scoring the highest (1st) in educational evaluations globally (America has languished in the past decade; not even in the top ten.) They start Kindergarten at 3 years of age. They, South Korean Parents, also encourage Kindergarteners to learn both English and Korean languages. This is all done unofficially because in South Korea Primary School does not start until the 1st Grade, 6-7 Years of Age. Japan also ranks very high in educational evaluations (2nd) and has a similar approach to Early Childhood Education before Primary Education starts. Do South Korean and Japanese Children play in Kindergarten, of course they do; they also learn.

    If South Korean Pre-School and Kindergarten Children can learn both Korean and English, I do not think that introducing reading to American Children in Kindergarten is that great of a task.

    BTY, Singapore and Hong Kong rank 3rd and 4th respectively.

  13. TahoeMom says - Posted: January 18, 2015

    It is sad that our complacency keeps lowering the standards we hold our education systems to. Our third child started kindergarten this year, and already is bored with school. The criticism of common core is based on the fact that parents/teachers have not been properly educated on the program. Our children are capable of so much more, and the practice of teaching to the average or lower end student is pathetic. Of course, it is much easier to control a population of uneducated people.

  14. fromform says - Posted: January 18, 2015

    rock and mom: the southeastern asian populations to which you refer are far more homogenous than ours; further, they have been relatively untouched by evangelical christianity, and thus as cultures are more inclined to value education over indoctrination.

  15. Hmmm... says - Posted: January 19, 2015

    Interesting point, fromform….especially given that the RadicalChristianRight in congress AND in our culture does look down their noses at mainstream education.

  16. Dogula says - Posted: January 19, 2015

    Who is looking down whose nose at whom???