Common Core continues to place greater demands on our youngest students with little to no regard to years of research on child development.

For example, take the Fountas and Pinnell research based guiding reading levels that have stood the test of time. They spent years creating a system that matched students with just right books. They even warned, “…through detailed coding of thousands of readings, showed that when a text is too difficult for the child the process breaks down and the child does not develop inner control of effective actions for processing texts.”

When Common Core was introduced, Fountas and Pinnell decided it was time to put research aside and go against their own advice in order create more rigorous thresholds for their guided reading levels.

For kindergartners in the pre Common Core days, F&P recommended students reach guided reading levels of A-C. With the introduction of Common Core, F& P raised the expectation to A-D.

The shift continued for first graders. Pre Common Core students were expected to reach levels B-I in the past. Now, F&P raised the expectations to C-J for the grade level.

Why would F&P change the criteria after all of these years?  They claim kindergartners are entering school more ready than before.  This claim isn’t based on research, but a hunch that only helps to grow their profits.  The only plausible explanation is that this rigorous shift occurred to generate revenue for the F&P intervention program LLI.  F&P has created  a new crisis in education- they just so happen to sell the cure.  Seems to be the Common Core business model.

While we would never ask less of our children, F&P warned of the risk of placing unrealistic and untested expectations in front of students. Yet, this is what the Common Core manages to do time and time again.  Let’s bring common sense back to classrooms and leave the baseless raising of bars for the playground.

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