Full day kindergarten is a political agenda that began several years ago when Common Core was introduced. This isn’t good for young children, and early childhood experts are starting to warn about the harmful consequences.

In a Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals they warned, “WE HAVE GRAVE CONCERNS about the core standards for young children now being written by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The draft standards made public in January conflict with compelling new research in cognitive science, neuroscience, child development, and early childhood education about how young children learn, what they need to learn, and how best to teach them in kindergarten and the early grades.

Common Core Education Reformers pushed difficult learning standards on younger children in Kindergarten. This isn’t good for young children and has been confirmed by Stanford researchers who said we are sending our kids to school too early.  They found that by delaying kindergarten one year, it reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73%.

The political factions calling for full day kindergarten are not being honest about the real potential problems for 5-year old children if their day is extended. This will not help students academically, long-term. There’s no need to push children at an early age to learn material they are not ready for. Children who attend half day kindergarten will catch up to those who attend a full day kindergarten program, when they complete 1st grade.  Let kids be kids!

California’s math standards were considered the best in the country prior to Common Core. Some of what you now see in the Common Core kindergarten standards were found in the 1st grade California math standards. In other words, 1st grade standards were pushed down to kindergarten.

CA standards were logical and didn’t bog down children with the confusing Common Core math as they got older. CA students moved further ahead as they progressed and were then prepared for Algebra I by 8th grade. Compare that to Common Core which slows down the pace as children get older because they are learning multiple confusing math concepts that put them on a path to Algebra I by 9th grade.

This puts the Common Core children at a disadvantage if they want to pursue STEM programs in college. *Science Technology, Engineering and Math*.

The lead writer of the Common Core Math Standards, Jason Zimba, even admits that Common Core does not put children on a path to STEM programs.  This drive to get girls interested in STEM programs is undermined when schools use the Common Core Math Standards.

Instead of potentially harming young children, NH should replace the Common Core math standards with standards similar to what California used. This not only is good for the mental health of young children, it gives them the advantage they need if they choose to pursue a program of study at the college level.

Here are some of the problems with the Common Core Kindergarten Standards vs CA:
K.OA.2 Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
WORD PROBLEMS…many kindergarten children do not know how to read!!

Common Core Kindergarten:
K.CC.1. Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
OLD California 1st Grade:
1.1 Count, read, and write whole numbers to 100.

Common Core PUSHED 1st grade standard in to kindergarten!

Common Core Kindergarten:
K.OA.3. Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
OLD California 1st Grade:
1.3 Represent equivalent forms of the same number through the use of physical mod­ els, diagrams, and number expressions (to 20) (e.g., 8 may be represented as 4 + 4, 5 + 3, 2 + 2 + 2 + 2, 10 − 2, 11 − 3).

Common Core Kindergarten:
K.CC.1. Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
OLD California standards 1st grade:
2.4 Count by 2s, 5s, and 10s to 100.

Common Core Kindergarten Standards:
• K.OA.5. Fluently add and subtract within 5.
OLD California math standards 1st grade:
2.1 Know the addition facts (sums to 20) and the corresponding subtraction facts and commit them to memory.

The focus should always be on what’s best for the child. NH should work on fixing the Common Core mess first before ever considering extending the day for 5-year old children.

Ann Marie Banfield began volunteering as Cornerstone’s Education Liaison in 2009. As an education researcher and activist she took her decade long research on education to Concord to lobby on behalf of parental rights and literacy. Working with experts in education from across the country, she offers valuable insight into problems and successes in education. She holds a B.A. in Business Management from Franklin University in Columbus Ohio. Ann Marie and her husband have three children and reside in Bedford, NH