Monday, March 23, 2009

The Pressure Is On, and the Kids Suffer in . . . Kindergarten?

By Jay Mathews
Sunday, March 22, 2009; Page SM06

Dear Extra Credit:

We have two sets of twins who are in fourth grade and kindergarten at a well-regarded public school in Bowie. The difference I see in the four years since my older children were in kindergarten is astounding.

I do not remember the older children having tests in kindergarten. Now they have tests at least monthly in math, reading, social studies and science. The tests are multiple choice so that they can practice filling in little bubbles to be ready for the Maryland State Assessment in three years. For this week's math worksheet, they were required to cut and paste the days of the week in order (acceptable to me) and then explain how they knew their answer was correct (what are they supposed to write for that?).

This year's kindergartners were starting to write sentences by the second month. They started with a simple "I see" and quickly moved up to things such as, "I go to school." They are expected to learn a new sentence each week and write it with a capital letter at the beginning, correct letter formation and spelling, spacing between the words, and a period at the end. Is this really essential for kindergarten?

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1 comment:

Jennifer Abell said...

comments were deleted because they were commercial in nature