Bill introduced to restrict enrollment in kindergarten Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm
State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, has introduced a bill that would restrict kindergarten enrollment to children who are 5 before Sept. 1, three months earlier than the current Dec. 2 cut-off date. Educators support the idea, he says.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 11:43 AM
Posted by Another Angle, a resident of the Menlo Park: Felton Gables neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm
This idea has merit as noted in the article
However, it is worth mentioning that pushing the cut off date back three months will bring a 25% smaller class into kindergarten in its first year. This will lesson the need for K teachers in the first year, and the succession of teachers in subsequent years as these kids get older. If you figure that each class in a K-8 school is of equal size, this should lesson the school budget by nearly 3% annually for nine years.
Posted by Leave us alone, a resident of the Portola Valley: other neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm
Mr. Simitian needs to focus on balancing the state budget by matching tax reciepts to expenditures and not by gimmicks and delays. I have two children who would have been held back by this proposal, and both are doing fine in school and testing well. This decision should be the parents, not Sacramento politicians. I am sure that my children would score higher in some test if we held them back another year, perhaps even higher if we held them back two years or three years. Perhaps they would also become bored and disruptive in class if the subject matter being taught was not challanging enough for them. When they drop out of school at 16 as bored high school freshmen, society will really benefit. The quote from the Palo Alto reading specialist is really misleading. My wife and I both would have been held back, and both of us recieved advanced degrees from local universities. Two of my immediate family members would also be held back by this law and one has an MD and the other a PhD. All four of us go to work every day and pay plenty of taxes. Is the third grade reading specialist still waiting for all of us to "catch up" and contribute to society?
We have over 10% unemployment in California. Our tax reciepts are down. We have NOT layed off 10% of our state workers since the peak in 2005. We have not cut our overall state budget by the same percentage as our loss in revenue. Why are we discussing changing laws that have been in effect for 50 years? This law did not cause this crisis. Cut the expenses (programs, staff, pensions) added since the 2000-2001 tax boom. They are the ones that are killing our budget.
Posted by whatdoesthissolve, a resident of another community, on Apr 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm
All this does is push the reading support to late summer births. Give me a break! The teachers will start discussing why didn't we hold back the June-August birthday kids in third grade. You are just moving the problem, not solving it.
Posted by Leslie, a resident of the Menlo Park: The Willows neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm
I would need to see much more data before I could support this idea. Anecdotally I have no evidence to support what is being proposed. In fact my experience personally and with my children is just the opposite.
Posted by Lisa L., a resident of the Menlo Park: Stanford Hills neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2010 at 7:14 am
As a former high school teacher who taught ninth graders for 20 years, I can tell you that most students with fall birthdays do not do well in high school. You can almost pinpoint the students (especially boys) who have fall birthdays and who were 13 the day they entered high school because of their immaturity and lack of focus - most kids can survive being the youngest in elementary and struggle through middle school, but being young really catches up with them during high school. I cannot understand why parents would push a four year old into school when they are not ready, even if they are precocious and have reading skills. That one-on-one attention that parents are able to give these four year olds will not continue throughout school and eventually, it's the child that pays the price. Would you rather have a struggler or a star? Unfortunately, the negative results of parents wanting their kids in school at the earliest possible moment are not seen until it's way too late.
Posted by scorpio, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2010 at 11:09 am
The real problem here is not the cutoff date; it's that the curriculum keeps getting pushed down into lower grades. Kindergarten used to be play-oriented; now, some local school districts insist that kindergartners be reading by the beginning of the second semester. First year algebra, which everyone took in the 9th grade back in my time, is now being taught to many 7th graders.
In many parts of the world, kids start public education earlier than they do in this country. Of course, in California we can't even pay for the public schools we have, but in an ideal situation, free schools should be available for all kids age 3 and up. The issue is not the age; it's providing an age-appropriate environment with developmental oriented instruction.