However, when it comes to reading, I don't think the Common Core is asking too much. I have spent a great deal of time understanding the standards for reading, and believe they are appropriate and will provide students with a solid foundation for greater learning in the years to come. If anyone disagrees, I would love to better understand the issues of concern. If you wish to help me understand your concern(s) with the standards (not PARCC or teacher evaluation - that is a completely different issue), please cite the kindergarten reading standard, what you believe is inappropriate about it and why, in the comment box below. I hate that I have to say this, but PLEASE refrain from reducing our conversation to name-calling, irrational rants, or other non-productive practices.
The Common Core provides expectations of reading comprehension before students really learn to read. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, it actually makes perfect sense. I don't think anyone would argue that we should be reading to our kids from the time they are babies. We know from experience and from research that this practice improves oral language skills and, later, reading skills. In kindergarten, the teacher begins the year by reading stories TO students, with a strong focus on phonemic awareness and comprehension skills. Students can understand stories long before they can read them on their own, so she will spend most of her guided reading time helping children understand the story. During kindergarten, we are expecting students to transition to reading very simple stories independently. To illustrate what happens at the beginning of the kindergarten year, I am providing this video of our youngest students learning how to identify key ideas and details and character motivation. Please note the repeated use of the word "evidence" which lays the foundation for citing evidence in text as students develop greater competence. This lesson is less than 15 minutes long and is about the longest amount of time students of this age should be focused on this type of activity. The text and the learning objectives are consistent with Common Core expectations for this grade level.