All Day Kindergarten; will it improve academics?

Some are trying to pass off our academic deficiencies as being solved with all day kindergarten “all day K”. This is not a solution! We need the Administration to come up with solutions with regard to curriculum and in our process that will not add significant cost to our community. I am sure he can do this!!!

This is not about comparing studies on all day “K”. Basically, people on both sides could dredge up studies to show what they want. We must take into account that many studies are designed by “educators” who have been plying non-education into the public school system for a century.

So what some consider success, is not what many parents in our community would consider success.

As far as I know all day “K” is found in underperforming districts and in performing districts. There are studies that show improvements for at-risk kids and worse performance for kids not at risk.

There are no aligning of results, none, that categorically proves all day “K” improves academics. This is a gamble at best! This is certainly not worth the gamble when we know the cost explosion downside associated with implementing it.

Here are 10 irrefutable, compelling points to consider:

  1. The unbelievable cost associated with this will never go away. Millions of dollars of added cost to school districts annually. Families in our community should not be burdened with the terrible increase in taxes due to the more than doubling of Kindergarten costs!
  2. After 12 years of this dictate, and hundreds of millions of dollars later, we would then be burdened with the cost of this “cultural change” for generations. These costs will always be with us.
  3. Some politicians have been pushing for Government funded day care for a generation. All Day “K” is in essence all day daycare. It is being sold as needed to better prepare our children and for future academic improvements. “Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain.” There are many school districts outperforming us academically, who do not have all day “K”.
  4. Kindergarten aged children have about a 2 or 3 hours of attention span. More time in kindergarten is not the answer. What they can’t or won’t teach in a few hours will not be taught to tired kids in more hours. We are all being sold an impression that if our children had more time in kindergarten, everything would be so much better!
  5. Parents want the ability to enjoy and experience the new learning of their children, after 3 hours of kindergarten.
  6. The research that shows any advantages that our children may have gained in all day “K” is contradicted by the same research showing that children lose much of it when they advance to 3rd and 4th grade.
  7. All day Kindergarten would in addition take kids away from family, constructive play, household chores, hobbies, explorations, etc.
  8. All day K also keeps kids out of the real world, away from healthful play and interaction with others which helps their minds explore the workings of the world and develop God-given talents, thinking and experience with consequences.
  9. When my wife was home with my son, after a morning in Kindergarten, she observed his joy when he caught the concept of fractions as she was running through it conversationally just trying to explain what she actually meant by saying, “Give half of that to your sister”, He saw how a “whole” could be divided up into parts/fractions, He laughed for joy at this discovery. That’s what true learning is like – exploration and discovery, which is truly exciting and empowering.
  10. Another comment about time: A family I know that home schools their children, (Barbara, the mom) was writing academic objectives in August to submit to the school district for their daughter’s upcoming 2nd grade, thought, “All this sounds too familiar,” and she realized she had already covered all the standard requirements for 2nd grade in her daughters first year of school. So, she called the superintendent and told him she was going to move Sarah to 3rd grade and submit those objectives to him because “we already did 2nd grade.” He had previously seen the achievements of Barbara’s home schooled sons, and he simply said, “Okay, I’ll make a note of that in the record.” She skipped a whole grade without even trying!

 

Boyertown School Board Director