Randi Weingarten, President of Teachers Union, Answers Critics of National Standards for Kindergarten

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Educators say the K-3 standards are not developmentally appropriate -- will do more harm than good. Two-part series on BAM Radio Network explores merits on both sides.

Today, BAM Radio Network, the education station online, began airing a special program titled “Will National Kindergarten Standards Harm or Help Young Children?” The two-part series attempts to sort through a controversy that has divided the early education community. In the first segment, guest Edward Miller, Senior Researcher for Alliance for Childhood, explains why kindergarten standards are unnecessary, unhelpful and potentially very harmful. Second guest, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, responds to critics of kindergarten standards, point by point, and aims to separate fact from fiction. Third guest, Lisa Guernsey of the New America Foundation, introduces the pivotal issue of implementation. The roundtable discussion is hosted by education talk show host Rae Pica, a 30-year veteran of the early childhood community, and is aired “on demand” on the BAM Radio Network at http://www.bamradionetwork.com. The program is also available for download on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bam-body-mind-child-preparing/id267447938.

“Advocates on both sides of this initiative are equally emphatic. It is clear to me that this is the sort of issue that demands some thoughtful and meaningful discussion,” said Rae Pica, co-founder of BAM Radio. “We are grateful to Randi Weingarten, Ed Miller and Lisa Guernsey for providing their clear and rigorous perspectives to our listeners and for contributing to a discussion that is informative, clarifying and helpful.”

In June of this year, Common Core State Standards were finalized and introduced. According to the Common Core website, as of November, 43 states, territories and the District of Columbia have adopted these English-language arts and mathematics standards for grades K-12. More than 500 early childhood specialists and child development experts signed the Alliance for Childhood's statement of concern about the standards.

“It’s going to result in kindergarten children being labeled deficient in reading when they simply aren’t; they are just not developmentally there yet,” said Edward Miller.

On the other side of the issue, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education signed a joint statement in favor of national standards for kindergarten.

“More wealthy kids are getting a print-rich environment at home. What we’re trying to do is create some equity here, so that there’s some exposure for less wealthy kids in school,” said Randi Weingarten.

About BAM Radio Network

The BAM Radio Network is the largest online, education radio network for parents, teachers, administrators, advocates, journalists, legislators and all people interested in education-related topics. The network offers 21 channels of education programming available on demand and hosted by the nation's leading educators and advocates. The network is a joint venture between privately held Washington D.C. -based Moving & Learning and Los Angeles-based Jackstreet Media Ventures LLC. The programming is produced by social media strategist and Emmy-winning broadcaster Errol Smith and distributed through the Affiliate Nanocasting Network.

Exceptional Educational Reporting Team

BAM Radio Network has assembled the heads of the education community's leading associations to bring you the most insightful, accurate, relevant and up-to-date information on the education issues people really care about. The on-air hosts include:

  • Dr. Jerlean Daniel, executive director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Dr. Gerald Tirozzi, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • John Michlos, editor in chief of the International Reading Association
  • Gail Connelly, executive director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators
  • Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association
  • Paul Young, president and CEO of the National Afterschool Association
  • John Musso, executive director of the Association of School Business Officials
  • Brian Crowe, executive director/CEO of the National Association of Child Care Professionals
  • Amy Garcia, executive director of the National Association of School Nurses
  • Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance
  • Linda Geigle, executive director of the National Association for Family Child Care
  • Dr. Eric Karolak, executive director of Early Childhood Education Consortium
  • Linda Smith, executive director of the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
  • Sherry Waugh, president of the National Coalition for Campus Children's Centers
  • Diane Whitehead, executive director of the Association for Childhood Education International

These education advocates are at the center of their respective communities and have their fingers on the pulse of what is going on moment by moment. Their programs are an invaluable resource for reporters, advocates, activists, legislators, analysts, parents, educators, administrators and anyone interested in transforming education.

Insightful Commentary

To bring a wider, richer perspective to listeners, BAM Radio augments its team of expert hosts with a cadre of accomplished journalists who provide insightful commentary. BAM’s core of on-air commentators includes Jay Mathews, education columnist with the Washington Post; Debra Viadero, associate editor at Education Week; Lisa Guernsey, Director of New America's Early Education Initiative; Liz Willen, formerly with Newsday and Bloomberg Markets magazine and currently with the Hechinger Institute; Valerie Strauss, education columnist with the Washington Post; and Ugo Uche of Psychology Today.
Combined, this team of hosts and commentators provides a panoramic perspective and exceptional insight on the education issues of the day.

Jackstreet Media Ventures LLC
Jeannette Bernstein
info (at) bamradionetwork (dot) com


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