"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Seventeen Percent of Kindergarten Kids Redshirted

Does it tell you that something is haywire when almost 20 percent of children are being held back from entering kindergarten for a year because of the irresponsible stupidity of a generation of adults who have ignored everything we have learned during the past hundred years about child development?  From today's Times:
. . . .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 Sand tables have been replaced by worksheets to a degree that’s surprising even by the standards of a decade ago.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. . . .
Why have adults running the schools acted so irresponsibly to create kindergartens that are inappropriate for kindergartners?  Because the U. S. Chamber of Commerce has insisted on "accountability" for all public spending on schools, while the sewers of Wall Street and the corporate headquarters continue to stink up the entire country.  The Times lead story this morning is about the abandonment of Wall Street by the small investors, who have taken out over $30 billion this year alone from the Wall Street betting windows.
Investors withdrew a staggering $33.12 billion from domestic stock market mutual funds in the first seven months of this year, according to the Investment Company Institute, the mutual fund industry trade group. Now many are choosing investments they deem safer, like bonds. 
Like many other Americans who were waiting for the Feds to end the casino capitalism, we see nothing done that prevents too-big-to-fail from happening all over again a few years hence when we are even closer to retirement.  I am out of the funhouse, just like so many others with options to not gamble retirement funds on the moral bankruptcy of the greed merchants.  Never to go back, by the way.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street pols and pundits and Rupert Murdochs of the world support the perpetrators who print teachers' names and student test scores in the floundering corporate newspapers that are hoping for a bump in readership in order to stave off bankruptcy.  American newspapers sealed their fates when they went to war with Bush and death-worshipping neocons.  That was the Chernobyl for the news biz, and nothing they have done since shows any remorse or change in direction.  Corporate coverups and lack of corporate accountability continue to be a non-story, as megalomaniacs like Bill Gates and Eli Broad are celebrated in the editorial offices for advancing a new era of eugenics treatments in the public-corporate schools for poor children whose parents do not have the option of keeping them home or sending them to Sidwell Friends School.

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