Kindergarteners who start school this year face a whole new set of academic challenges intended to get them into college.
Yes, you read that right. Kindergarteners, and college.
It’s all part of a nationwide effort to raise standards across the country by providing consistent, clear guidelines of what they are expected to learn — theoretically so that teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.
Known as the common core State Standards Initiative, the effort is being coordinated by the national Governors Association and the council of chief State School Officers. Florida and 43 other states that have joined the initiative, will begin using the standards for kindergarten this fall.
By 2013, the standards are scheduled to be implemented for all subjects across all grade levels, with new assessments taking the place of the FCAT. The goal is to ensure that every student, regardless of where he or she lives in the country, has the educational foundation needed for success in college or a career.
As a result of the new standards, some things previously taught in first grade in Broward county will now be taught in kindergarten, school officials say. examples include counting to 100 by tens, addition and subtraction facts up to five and composing and decomposing the numbers 11-19 (how many “tens” and how many “ones” are in each number).
Literacy goals also will increase. “Parents will see an increase in t he complexity of what a student reads,” Dr. Marie Wright, Broward’s executive director for core curriculum, said in a statement released by the school system. “There will be more informational text, and students, starting in kindergarten, will be expected to not only comprehend the text, but demonstrate progress toward eventual college level literacy skills.”