The Common Core State Standards: Caution and Opportunities for Early Childhood Education

A recently published NAEYC paper provides a framework for thinking about and discussing the widely adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for K-12 education within the early childhood education field. The implementation of CCSS is of particular importance to NAEYC as well as the early childhood field because of overlapping interest in the latter years of early childhood during the early elementary grades, and because the adoption and implementation of CCSS has the potential to impact programs for children prior to entering kindergarten. The paper notes concern about the restrictive domains Common Core covers, focusing only on language arts and mathematics at this time, and lacking attention on the importance of the whole child. Additionally, NAEYC is concerned about the time and resources allocated to implement CCSS and the means of assessing children’s progress in meeting the standards. However, the paper also notes opportunities to share the early childhood field’s expertise and experience with pushing evidence-based best practices across all levels of education, and working to more closely connect early childhood education with the K-12 system.

The Common Core State Standards: Caution and Opportunity for Early Childhood Education provides guidance on four main themes that were also used to develop and implement early learning standards in early childhood education. These are meant to highlight the potential contributions the early childhood field can make toward the implementation of Common Core learning standards in early elementary school through upper grades.