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[Susan notes: Of course the New York Times 'balanced' the issue by putting David Liben's letter insisting that any claim that the Common Core reduces play is wrong. Liben is identified as 'senior content specialist with Student Achievement Partners.'
The New York Times could also have identified Vivian Gussin Paley as a MacArthur 'genius' award recipient.
Other than this letter, the only time Paley's name has appeared in the paper is in an announcement of one of her books. I wonder why reporters never call on Vivian Gussin Paley for learned commentary on Common Core issues. You know, when they call experts (sic) at the Fordham Institute or American Enterprise, they could also give her a call. ]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

More than 60 years have passed since my generation of teachers was introduced to the idea that play is the work of children. During my 40 years as a kindergarten and preschool teacher, the legitimacy of make-believe as a learning tool held fast. It is the way children learn best, inventing their characters and plots, discovering ever more mature language, logic and social awareness.
Suddenly the curriculum imposed upon our children has changed; classroom areas with dolls and blocks are being closed down in favor of more workbooks and tables. Four- and five-year-olds are being asked to act like first and second graders.
The genius of play, at its most innovative and dramatic stage, is being skipped over in favor of programmed lessons meant for older students. How sad for our children.

The writer is the author of many books about early childhood, including You Can't Say You Can't Play

Vivian Gussin Paley

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