This reader explains the conflict between Common Core expectations and her professional judgment. How did she resolve it? She did what she believed was in the best interests of children. It’s not easy.

She writes:

“As a literacy consultant and Title 1 coordinator at my K-6 rural NH school, I sympathize. At my school, we use Fountas and Pinnell’s Benchmark Assessment System as our universal screening tool for literacy. When F&P came out with their revised reading level expectations (obviously inspired by the CCSS, although they refuse to admit this), my colleagues and I came to consensus about the fact that we will not adhere to them, as we feel that at several grade levels (most notably kindergarten), they are developmentally inappropriate and unrealistic.

“Because we are the only elementary school in our district that came to this conclusion, I am receiving complaints from the one middle school into which all elementary students in the district funnel: “But now our grade level expectations for reading are not aligned! How are we supposed to determine which students are truly at core, strategic, intensive, etc.?”

“My stance is, do the work to figure it out. Get to know the whole child. Let’s stop pretending that each child develops at the same rate, and that it’s as easy as looking at a piece of data to determine which students truly need intervention. Policies and guidelines like this we put into place so that educators don’t have to think. It is something I work against every single day.”