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PAT ELLIS September 24, 2013
Common Core Educational Standards Could be Developmentally Harmful and
‘Cause Major Stress’ to Children
Birmingham, AL. – A disturbing report by Child Psychologist Dr. Megan Koschnick confirms that the Common Core educational standards for kindergarten through 3rd grade could be developmentally harmful to children. The Common Core standards, which are being fully implemented this year in the state of Alabama, could be detrimental to children for years to come.
At a recent conference entitled “The Changing Role of Education in America: Consequences of the Common Core,” which was held at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Koschnick announced her startling statements. Pat Ellis, Vice President of the Eagle Forum of Alabama, who attended the conference, held September 9, 2013, issued a statement today regarding her findings. “It was alarming to hear from a child psychologist that NO RESEARCH supports the early childhood standards in Common Core, AND that they can actually be expected to HARM many children,” she said. “It is obvious that unlike Common Core advocates, early childhood psychologists understand how a child’s mind develops, and match their work to the proper developmental stage – thereby nurturing a child’s innate love of learning. To think that the state of Alabama is actually using these standards and curriculum is distressing to say the least.”
The American Principles Project (APP) in conjunction with the Pioneer Institute and the Heartland Institute released a video of Dr. Koschnick’s presentation at the Notre Dame conference. In this enlightening video, Dr. Koschnick discusses how Common Core standards are developmentally and age inappropriate for young students.
“Why do we care if [Common Core standards] are age inappropriate? Well, you can answer that with one word – stress,” said Dr. Koschnick during her presentation. “Instead of thinking about what’s developmentally appropriate for kindergarteners, they [the developers of the standards] are thinking [college] is where we want this kindergartener to end up, so let’s back track down to kindergarten and have kindergarteners work on these skills from an early age. This can cause major stress for the child because they are not prepared for this level of education.”
Dr. Koschnick’s presentation echoes the concerns set forth by 500 signatures in the Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals on the Common Core Standards Initiative (March 2, 2010), and with the concerns set forth in The Answer Sheet blog in the Washington Post, entitled A Tough Critique of Common Core on Early Childhood Education (January 29, 2013). This blog, written by Edward Miller and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, quoted Dr. Carla Horowitz of the Yale Child Study Center who expresses the same concerns saying, “The Core Standards will cause suffering, not learning, for many, many young children.”
Reactions to Dr. Koschnick’s presentation at the Notre Dame conference, by others who attended include:
Khadine Ritter of Ohio: “As a mother of two young children, I am astounded by the irresponsibility of those in government who seemingly never consulted child development experts to determine if these standards were age appropriate. They are toying with a generation of students, but we won’t see the detrimental consequences until it is too late. I hope public officials will now do their homework and watch Dr. Koschnick’s important presentation.”
Professor Gerard Bradley, noted constitutional scholar of University of Notre Dame Law School: “Many critical observers of Common Core have focused upon the inadequate math and ELA standards at the high school end of education — and rightly so. But, Dr. Koschnick’s arresting presentation tells us that there is much to criticize at the elementary level.”
APP Education Director Emmett McGroarty: “Dr. Koschnick sets forth her concerns as a child psychologist in clear, but troubling, detail. I urge every parent, every teacher, and every administrator to watch Dr. Koschnick’s presentation and to read the Joint Statement and the blog article by Mr. Miller and Ms. Carlsson-Paige.”
Heartland Institute’s Joy Pullman: “Dr. Koschnick’s analysis makes it clear what other early childhood professionals have said: Common Core asks small children to behave like little adults, and they are not little adults. Anyone who cares for a small child could tell you this. This is a further consequence of the Common Core lead writers’ lack of experience and professional reputation, and of its committees excluding experts in early childhood.”
You can watch the video of Dr. Koschnick’s full presentation here.