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theschoolboards
08-22-2010, 10:53 PM
An excerpt from the NY Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/fashion/22Cultural.html?_r=1&ref=education) by Pamela Paul:
AFTER all those attentive early childhood rituals — the flashcards, the Kumon, the Dora the Explorer, the mornings spent in cutting-edge playgrounds — who wouldn’t want to give their children a head start when it’s finally time to set off for school?

Suzanne Collier, for one. Rather than send her 5-year-old son, John, to kindergarten this year, the 36-year-old mother from Brea, Calif., enrolled him in a “transitional” kindergarten “without all the rigor.” He’s an active child, Ms. Collier said, “and not quite ready to focus on a full day of classroom work.” Citing a study from “The Tipping Point” about Canadian hockey players, which found that the strongest players were the oldest, she said, “If he’s older, he’ll have the strongest chance to do the best."

Hers is a popular school of thought, and it is not new. “Redshirting” of kindergartners — the term comes from the practice of postponing the participation of college athletes in competitive games — became increasingly widespread in the 1990s, and shows no signs of waning

In 2008, the most recent year for which census data is available, 17 percent of children were 6 or older when they entered the kindergarten classroom. Sand tables have been replaced by worksheets to a degree that’s surprising even by the standards of a decade ago. Blame it on No Child Left Behind and the race to get children test-ready by third grade: Kindergarten has steadily become, as many educators put it, “the new first grade.”

What once seemed like an aberration — something that sparked fierce dinner party debates — has come to seem like the norm. But that doesn’t make it any easier for parents.
To read more, click here (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/fashion/22Cultural.html?_r=1&ref=education).

Related thread: Require kindergarteners to be 5 by Sept. 1 (http://www.theschoolboards.com/showthread.php/59-Require-kindergarteners-to-be-5-by-Sept.-1-%28SF-Chronicle%29)