Today the New York Daily News reports the Common Core curriculum developed by Pearson for kindergarten is problematic as well:
Are you smarter than a kindergartner?
Adults asked by the Daily News to complete a new vocabulary exercise offered to 4- and 5-year-olds as part of the city’s new Common Core curriculum weren’t so sure.
The curriculum, which is optional, aims to teach kindergartners higher-order thinking skills, and tasks them with drawing pictures of vocabulary words. The News chose the words “distance” and “responsibility” and told those who’ve long since finished grade school to put their thinking caps on.
“I’m glad I skipped kindergarten!” said Brian Schwartz, who graduated from Oxford University at 18 and is a member of the Omega Society, which professes to accept only the brightest of the bright. Schwartz drew an infinite road for “distance,” and declined to share his representation of responsibility, calling it “a total failure.”
The city estimated last spring that new Common Core textbooks, designed by education company Pearson, would cost $56 million. But more city schools than expected have ordered the new Department of Education-suggested textbooks and materials, so the final price tag is not yet available.
Schools chancellor Dennis Walcott, a former kindergarten teacher, declined to take the kindergarten challenge.
“I think, honestly, the City of New York should send the curriculum back to Pearson and get our money back,” said United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew. “As a taxpayer, I’m fuming.”
For kindergartners, the trouble with the exercise begins with the fact that the workbook forces kids to draw in a 2-inch-by 4-inch box.
“They can’t make anything in that small little space. That to me is a setup for failure,” said Sandra Fajgier, a kindergarten teacher at Public School 10 in Brooklyn, who said she was “totally stumped” when first approached about making a drawing. Department of Education spokeswoman Erin Hughes defended the agency, calling the curriculum “100% optional,” though 90% of schools have the adopted city-suggested texts.
Officials at Pearson, which designed the kindergarten ReadyGEN materials, noted the materials teach kids vocabulary words in multiple ways before they are asked to draw, including in this case by reading the award-winning book “Make Way for Ducklings.”
The city claims the Pearson Common Core curriculum is optional but a commenter at the DN notes:
Apparently even the DOE spokesperson has no idea what is happening in schools. The DOE took all of every school's New York State textbook money to buy this program. Nothing about that was optional.
They claim it is "optional," but will punish you if you don't conform. It's "optional" in the old Nazi way.
Another commenter sums the whole mess up:
Tragic, truly tragic. This could be the last straw. I can only hope that the children are charged with illustrating the word "devastation" to see exactly how a bewildered five year- old using a fat purple crayon would draw the current mayor and his hapless toadies imposing stupidity on a city.
Indeed - a mess.
Back in January, I posted about the damage that the Common Core has done to kindergartners in the NYC school system.
Play has been replaced by test prep, hands on learning and activities have been replaced by drudgery and "rigorous" academic lessons.
And now from this Daily News story, you can see what those "rigorous" academic lessons are.
From kindergarten to high school, the reformers are wreaking devastation across the school system and doing permanent damage to children, the teaching profession and schools.