Early learning is in crisis in NYS. Not only are we squandering the opportunity to provide children with the educational foundation they need to become self-reliant, confident, and engaged learners, we are literally risking their well-being.
The teachers who work with young children have been screaming this from the rooftops. Sadly, the voices of early educators are not respected. They are often pushed to the side and marginalized and their concerns are ignored. This is happening in New York State and across the country.
The good news is that here in New York State, we have an opportunity to push back against policy and learning standards that hurt children, increase the opportunity gap, and distract from what kids really need. Next month the New York State Board of Regents will consider adopting the Next Generation Learning Standards despite the fact that early educators have expressed significant concern with the developmentally appropriateness of the proposed PreK-2 standards.
The proposed Next Generation Learning Standards include over 75 Prekindergarten standards, leaving little time for the play-based learning and exploration that children of this age need.
Pushing these flawed education reforms onto the youngest learners raises some disturbing questions.
As Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) becomes more widely available, will the implementation of these standards and policies become a mandate for schools receiving state funding? This would significantly widen the opportunity gap as only those who can afford private preschool would have access to developmentally appropriate learning experiences.
The NYS Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core specifically states that it is “a guide for selecting assessment tools appropriate for children…” What does it look like when we attempt to assess 3 and 4 year-olds on over 75 learning standards?
Please watch this video and take action so that we never have to find out.