Much of the concern over the kindergarten standards revolves around the question of whether they are “developmentally appropriate.” I would argue that in addition to this issue, the kindergarten standards are fatally difficult to interpret due to the flawed design of Common Core ELA/Literacy standards as a whole. It is a fundamental premise of the Common Core that we can think of learning in kindergarten as part of a single continuum of skills and tasks stretching backward from college.
In fact, the standards and assessment paradigm designed for secondary school breaks down when applied to six year olds. This is why all high performing countries, the ones we are supposedly trying to compete with, have separate curricular documents for primary and secondary schools, reflecting the goals and demands of each level.
The DEY report cited six examples of kindergarten standards for which “there is no evidence that mastering these standards in kindergarten rather than in first grade brings lasting gains.” Gentry defends each one in turn, and I shall point out how this discussion illuminates flaws in the design of the standards as a whole.