Look at the opening image in Elizabeth Weil’s NYT Magazine article (When Should a Kid Start Kindergarten?) and you’ll get the gist of what she’s out to say (even without my unauthorized arrow-drawing): delaying the start of kindergarten gives wealthier and whiter kids with more educated parents an unfair advantage over younger, poorer, and more minority kids. The most viable solution, barring a return to the bad old days when kindergarten was kindergarten? You guessed it: universal preschool.
To be sure, I haven’t heard much about this trend (and am immediately suspicious of anything that could fan the flames of universal preschool fever). Stylistically, I could have used a little less Freakonomics (or is it Gladwell?). We’ve all read the “preschool is the new kindergarten” story before. And it’s not really “redshirting” anymore if everyone is doing it. But there’s been precious few questions being asked about the PK-K intersection. Who knew that a year of quality preschool cost as much as college? And the way that Weil connects the concerns and practices of the wealthy who read the Times Magazine with larger policy issues -- and issues of fairness and effectiveness -- is engaging and helpful. Read what other bloggers have to say about the article here.
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