According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ report on reading assessment, in 2011 Black students scored 22 points lower and Hispanic students scored 23 points lower than White students (NCES, 2011). This gap in academic performance, also known as the achievement gap, has resulted in increased emphasis on skill development in the early grades. In many states, this has resulted in “pushing down” curriculum from higher grades so that students master this content earlier.

After watching the above video, Kindergarten is the New First Grade in Texas, reflect on the following:

  1. Can a state mandated textbook containing content designed for first grade students be part of a developmentally appropriate Kindergarten curriculum?

Also respond to the following questions:

  1. What can happen when young children are presented with tasks that are out of the developmental range?
  2. Think about what Kindergartners may internalize about reading and learning if they are faced with tasks that are developmentally out of reach.
  3. Are there ways to increase literacy skills without pushing down curriculum?
  4. Is there anything inherently wrong with increasing the academic rigor of early grades or is the problem in the approach?
  5. What are the implications of this strategy for diverse learners?

In this discussion, we will briefly debate the appropriateness of pushing down curriculum.  Find your assigned debate group below (by first letter of last name):

    • A-L: Proponents of pushing down curriculum
    • M-Z: Opponents of pushing down curriculum

Due by Day 3.  Develop and post a cohesive, research-based argument in support for or against the pushing down of curriculum based on the position you have been assigned.

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