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Although the Common Core standards only apply to grades K-12, some states are using them as a benchmark to improve the college- and career-readiness of students beginning in pre-kindergarten - and they're seeing results.
In New York, where the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation of the Common Core developed early-learning standards to provide a more unified approach to education, educators are finding that the new guidelines are encouraging independence in students at a young age.
"The pre-K classroom is aligned with the Common Core very seamlessly in the sense that children are engaged in hands-on learning," Sandra Noyola, an elementary school principal in Brooklyn, told WNYC public radio. "Our teachers work very hard to provide those real-life experiences."
The Common Core-aligned pre-kindergarten standards are designed to prepare students for college- and career- readiness from a young age. Education officials believe these higher-order thinking skills will put students on a path to success.
Aligning pre-K curriculum with the Common Core standards means encouraging self-reliance and independence in young students through problem solving and critical thinking activities. The New York pre-K guidelines cover both English/language arts and mathematics, as the Common Core standards do, in addition to science, social studies and the arts.