Those who claim teachers and their education schools have focused on the wrong way to teach reading never mention Common Core State Standards. But, since 2010, Common Core has figured prominently in the reading curriculum teachers have been forced to teach.
If students are showing increased reading problems, shouldn’t the English Language Arts standards be examined, including the Reading: Foundational Skills which focuses on phonics?
If Common Core was improving learning, wouldn’t those phonics standards be working for all children? Perhaps Common Core is the problem.
In 2015, in The Washington Post: “Requiring kindergartners to read as Common Core does – may harm some,” Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin and Joan Wolfsheimer Almon, well-respected experts in the area of early childhood learning, described how Common Core’s standards involved unreasonable expectations for kindergartners.
They stated, many children are not developmentally ready to read in kindergarten, yet the Common Core State Standards require them to do just that.
It’s important to note that phonics hasn’t been missing from the curriculum like we have been told.
One mom complains about the phonics in 2015 in another Washington Post article “Mom: Common Core wants kids to develop reading skills at the same pace. My daughters didn’t.”
My concern with the standards for the youngest grades is not with the Reading: Literacy Standards, which are about comprehension and understanding stories, but rather with the Reading: Foundational Standards (Kindergarten), which are about phonics and decoding words. The Reading: Foundational Standards require ALL kindergartners, for instance, to be reading CVC words (i.e., three-letter short vowel words) by the end of kindergarten, unless those words end with r, x, or l. Requiring such phonics-based reading skills at that level by the end of kindergarten is developmentally inappropriate for many 5-year-olds. I can tell you that from my own experience.
Many parents and educators initially complained about Common Core, but powerful people behind the standards reshaped reading instruction at every level.
In “How Common Core Is Destroying Training of Teachers”, Sandra Stotsky professor of education emerita at the University of Arkansas and longtime critic of Common Core, recently wrote Unfortunately, the nation’s self-appointed education policy experts, Bill and Melinda Gates, who gave us Common Core, have decided they know how teachers should be trained. They don’t.
Many dyslexia advocacy groups and those concerned about learning disabilities stamped their approval on the standards. The International Dyslexia Association claims students can reach the standards. They believe the IEP will take care of differences.
How many children with reading disabilities are made to struggle unnecessarily due to Common Core State Standards and unreasonable expectations?
Emily Hanford, who wrote “Hard Words: Why Aren’t Kids Being Taught to Read?” has written positively about the standards in the past. She advocates extensive phonics for all children as science. But where does Common Core, more precisely the phonics in Common Core, fit? Hanford never mentions it.
Most of her reports are run by NPR, a part of the American Radio Works. The PBS News Hour recently reported “What Parents of Dyslexic Children are Teaching Schools About Literacy”. That report never mentioned Common Core either.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is funded by the Waltons, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Arnolds, and others intent on school privatization.
Susan Pimental, who wrote in Education Week “Why Doesn’t Every Teacher Know the Research on Reading Instruction?”, never mentions Common Core. She was the lead author of the standards for English/language arts literacy.
Only Louisa Moats, another writer of the Common Core, and a phonics aficionado, dissed the standards. See the 2019 “Common Core Contributor Blows Whistle on Common Core”. She claims she knew all along that the standards weren’t good. No one listened to her concerns.
No one else seems to question whether Common Core pushes children to read too soon, or why the phonics in Common Core has apparently failed to make children into good readers.
To understand why children might struggle with reading, researchers need to examine all facets of reading instruction and not just pick what’s politically convenient to support their agenda, which seems to be to criticize teachers and the way they teach reading.