Sunday, November 27, 2016

Turning kindergarten into a kinder grind won’t make kids love to read.

Published in the Los Angeles Times, Dec. 3, 2016

"Catch-up kids" (Nov. 27) sends the message that high standards will lead to hard work and real achievement.  But there is no evidence that tougher standards lead to more learning, and no evidence showing that the Common Core standards are better at preparing children for college and career than other standards or than no standards.

The core of any successful literacy programs is enjoying stories and helping children develop a pleasure reading habit.  Scientific studies show that children who hear lots of stories and are read to become enthusiastic readers, and develop more than satisfactory levels of literacy. This can happen at any age.

Forcing young children to study flashcards in the car and spell words during family outings in order to "master" 100 words is turning kindergarten into kindergrind.  Children who develop a love of reading will master thousands of words, without suffering.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

Original article: “Catch-up kids” November 27, page B1, B4

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