Do you follow Common Core?
At KCA we do not follow Common Core standards. Our standardized testing is to assess the development of our students for their benefit.
The Common Core tests are far longer than previous tests. They are also unreasonably difficult for young children. Literacy expert Russ Walsh showed that the majority of the passages on the sample test are about two years beyond the expected reading level for the grade and concluded that the test will result in frustration for students. Two recent position papers, one by Kevin Welner and Bill Mathis of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), and a second by Neal McClusky, the associate director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, demonstrate that there is no conclusive evidence that high-stakes testing has accomplished its goal of improving the academic performance of economically disadvantaged students while decreasing the racial achievement gap. At the same time, there have been demonstrated negative effects from annual high-stakes testing, which include less creative and engaging schooling; the de-professionalization of teachers and teaching; the reduction of teaching of the arts, music, social studies, and science; and the marginalizing of student skill development in areas such as problem solving, cooperation, and reasoning. See Readability of Common Core Tests and Opting Out of Common Core Testing
What is the challenge of kindergarten in public schools?
The Common Core mandate that kindergarteners learn to read forces 'inappropriate' instruction, blocks experiential learning, and causes harmful anxiety among children. Alternately, studies show that children exhibit greater gains from active, play-based learning experiences—the same activities that are being pushed out to make room for more academic instruction. See
Why is cursive writing important?
The Common Core standards call for teaching legible writing, but only in kindergarten and first grade. After that, the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard. But psychologists and neuroscientists say it is far too soon to declare handwriting a relic of the past. Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters, but how. See Handwriting Article.
Do you have recess?
Yes, recess is necessary for optimal learning. See The Importance of Recess and Play
What is your use of technology?
Technology is another tool to help students learn. We use it to help individualize instruction and use it with intention. The use of technology is a privilege and there are student guidelines that need to be followed to access it. See Bill Gates Admits on Education Technology "We Really Haven't Changed Outcomes"