Is Common Core Changing How Children Learn to Read?

Learn to Read

Kathryn (teacher) asks:

Is Common Core Changing Reading Instruction?

Dr. Marion Blank, founder of The Reading Kingdom answers:

“That is a multi-level question that does not permit an easy answer. In terms of time and effort, the answer is yes. Common Core is definitely changing the packaging of material and requiring enormous amounts of time, effort and expense from educators and administrators.

But if you ask “are common core standards changing reading instruction for the better?” we do not have any solid information. Perhaps the more intense focus on reading will pay off. On the other hand, the standards are unbelievably wide-ranging and often unrealistic. For example, one standard for KINDERGARTENERS is “to describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).” In my experience, this is not a skill that is available to kindergarten age children.  Furthermore, I have seen no solid instruction for teachers on how they can lead the children to attain this skill. And this is only one of hundreds of skills listed in the standards. It would be wonderful if the standards did alter reading instruction for the better—but mandating standards without providing teaching methods that are proven effective to achieve those standards seems like a recipe for failure.”

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