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NCLB Outrages

Kindergarten Looks Bleak in Colorado

This phenomenon has been reported from around the country: Federal mandates that once distressed teachers now seem "not all bad." They've learned to live with DIBELS and the disappearance of imaginative play in kindergarten.

by Conny Jensen

At my neighborhood school's Open House this evening I wanted to see what kindergarten is like this year. Sadly, nothing has changed since Reading First was implemented four years ago. The rooms look even more bleak and clinical than before.

I spoke with the teacher whose class I visited in 2006. Back then she had hinted to me how dismayed she was. Now she tried to convince me that it was not all bad. Kids now get to go to specials as they will attend kindergarten all day.

"But is there time for play in the curriculum?" I asked.

"They get to do some playful things with math," she said, meaning they play with manipulatives.

Those were indeed the only 3-dimensional things I saw, save for the furniture. In kindergarten the walls are left mostly empty; no pictures of interest. The walls in the rooms of the higher grades are filled with words and letters. There's not an empty spot left, which may cause visual overstimulation and stress for the brain!

I gave some teachers a Stop National Standards postcard and left others on teachers' desks :)

Conny Jensen is a parent advocate and education activist.
Contact: GPAdvocate@gmail.com

— Conny Jensen
Stop Standards yahoo group


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