A small but enthusiastic group of kids, families, and activists—like me, in my first foray out of lockdown—met next to the 96th Street playground in Central Park, lots of chalk and musical instruments on hand, and walked to Carl Schurz Park for a rally across from Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence.
As the novel coronavirus raged, I talked with Diane Ravitch and Denisha Jones about the traumatic impact of the pandemic on young children and families, the state of modern childhood as well as toxic education policies that have stolen play, joy, and imagination from the nation’s classrooms.
In this short video, which I co-produced with Bianca Tanis, nine early educators speak straight from the heart, challenging New York’s Common Core standards, which have drastically altered kindergarten, stealing play from our littlest students and demoralizing those who care for and educate them.
Early educator and activist Susan DuFresne filmed us on Facebook live in this dynamic session that I led at the Network for Public Education annual conference. Teacher/activists Bianca Tanis, Michelle Gunderson, Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin, and Denisha Jones weighed in on the challenges and strategies for making change.
On November 10, 2016, more than 300 early childhood teachers, education professors, superintendents, principals, and advocates for the whole child sent a letter to top policymakers, including Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia, calling for a pause on the developmentally inappropriate PreK-2nd grade learning standards.