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Backward Mapping the Standards, education begins at conception

By Greg Sampson

If there’s one thing we hear over and over about the Common Core, it’s about the goal of having every child “college and career ready,” and that’s why they mapped the standards backwards. That’s why they figured out what young adults need to know when they go off to college and worked out what they needed to learn at each grade level from 12 to 11 to 10 to … kindergarten.

That’s why we demand that kindergarten and first grade children solve word problems in math before they have learned to read.

SCREEECH! I’m dragging the needle across the vinyl record to stop the seductive siren song. (OK, I’m also revealing my age to a generation that only knows music as one-song downloads to a smartphone. ‘Cause even the iPod is ancient history to today’s children.)

Nope, the song continues in our heads because like the Muzak on the elevator, we can’t turn it off.

So why stop at Kindergarten? Let’s backward map those standards into Pre-K and younger. Let’s go all the way back. Education starts at conception. What should pregnant women be reading to their wombs so that their children are born college and career ready?!

Oh, I’m being ridiculous. I’ll accept the criticism in spite of my satire because that means you admit there is a point where children aren’t able to learn something beyond their stage of life.

We have to know where that point is.

Which is why educational standards should be built from the beginning up, not the end down.

The Common Core is something in which to wrap last night’s fish dinner remains and put into the trash.

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