Thursday, September 15, 2005

Our Libertarian Newspaper, II

The Noblesville Daily Times continues to be a very satisfying read, as they continue to include libertarian content. Today's edition contained Sheri Conover Sharlow's op-ed on full-day kindergarten. Excerpt:
All-day kindergarten's defenders say that its effects carry on long after the kids have turned the yarn tassels on their construction-paper mortar boards. American students'' standing among those of other countries has fallen behind, and we must do everything we can to put our kids back on top. That includes all-day kindergarten.

However, studies cited by the Goldwater Institute, Thomas Sowell and others suggest that any education advantage of all-day kindergarten disappears by middle school, even among so-called at-risk children. Besides, our nation's elementary students with only half-day kindergarten already compete on even footing with students of other nations. Our students stay near the top until middle school. Seeing as our nation's education shortcomings start in middle school, putting the burden on kindergarteners seems misdirected.

While I tend to think of it as one more year of warehousing of kids, Sheri urges flexibility and parental involvement. That latter is always the most important key to education, in my book.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I also believe parents should be the ones to make decisions on the education of their children. And to do so, parents need to be fully informed of the laws. I have found over the years that many, many parents don't realize that kindergarten is not mandatory in Indiana. Compulsory education laws in this state start at age 7!

So I recommend keeping the little ones home and taking them to the parks and museums, getting some paints and play-doh, taking a close look at that bug on the carpet instead of just smashing it. In general, have fun with your child and they will learn so much without being stuck in a school building all day.

The specific law in Indiana Code for age requirements is IC 20-33-2-6. If you want to see more about education, or any laws in the state, type Indiana Code into google and it should be the first link up.