WARNING on FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN
The Obama administration made full day kindergarten and universal pre-school a big part of their education reform that included the Common Core Standards. Years later parents are discovering how the Common Core Standards have dumbed down their local schools and didn’t help their children at all. The push for full day kindergarten continues.
Parents may think starting kids earlier in school, gives them an advantage. However there is enough evidence that suggests this political agenda should be reconsidered.
First early childhood experts from across the country have been warning us that the Common Core Standards in the early grades are developmentally inappropriate. This explains why you will hear stories from parents explaining why their young children are in tears over homework. For instance, some of the kindergarten Common Core math standards were in the 1st grade California math standards. This gave the child’s brain an extra year to develop.
One would think that by starting early, Common Core was setting children up to surpass their international peers. Unfortunately that’s not the case either. Not only are the early Common Core standards developmentally inappropriate for young children, the confusing ways to learn Common Core math slows down their progress. Students in California and Massachusetts were prepared for Algebra I by 8th grade using their old and superior math standards. Compare that to Common Core Math which prepares children for Algebra I by 9th grade. This becomes a bigger problem if they want to complete Calculus by the end of high school. That means high school graduates may be denied access to our top colleges across the country.
Finally, in 2015 Stanford researchers found that delaying kindergarten one year, reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73% for an average 11 year old child. The effect of delaying school on hyperactivity and the inability to pay attention didn’t diminish over time. There was enough evidence to show that there were mental health benefits to delaying kindergarten.
Parents who work may want this service available for convenience purposes, but this is an additional cost that has the potential to further damage a child’s mental state.
Before any attempt to fund or expand full day kindergarten, the academic standards need to be addressed first. Asking children to perform academically at an early age may not be appropriate for all children. This rush to pass standardized tests may actually be adding to their stress and anxiety. Let’s stop making decision for five year olds based on what is good for adults and fix the Common Core mess first.