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Elwood Kindergarten Show Canceled So Kids Can Prepare For College, Careers

While the district puts focus on preparing children for 'college and career,' parents say full-day kindergarten is needed and the show should be reinstated.

Elwood school officials say they canceled an end-of-year kindergarten show, a long-standing tradition at Harley Avenue Primary School, in order to help students prepare for college and careers.

Letters sent home to parents in the Suffolk County district dated April 25 said the district is “responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers,” the Washington Post reported. A school district spokesman confirmed that the letter was authentic, according to the Post.

Yet some local parents disagree with this educational strategy. Ninette Solis has since posted a Change.org petition, which as of 9:50 a.m. Monday has already garnered 1,900 signatures.

“Please understand that Harley Elementary is one of a handful of schools in Suffolk and Nassau County which does not offer full day kindergarten,” Solis wrote in a letter on the Change.org petition.

“Our children attend school each day for a total of two and a half hours. If the district’s goal is to begin to develop ’college and career ready’ 5 year olds, they should have had full day kindergarten classes,” she added.

Meanwhile, the district is urging parents to support Assemb. Andrew Raia, R-Huntington, in his work on a bill to have funding restored for full day kindergarten in Elwood.

Still many in the community want the show reinstated.

“The children perform in front of an audience,” Solis pointed out. “This helps them build confidence in themselves. The show also helps develop public speaking skills while allowing the children celebrate a big accomplishment.”
Jill Longisland April 29, 2014 at 04:52 PM
This is one of the most bizarre policies yet. How much do these administrators get paid to give a higher priority to preparing kindergartners for college than performing in a customary play? The performance is a yearly event; the kids look forward to it. They are five years old! Isn't there enough time to prepare them for college once they get into first grade? It sounds like these administrators are punishing the children to make a statement about the Common Core requirements.
ergodic May 03, 2014 at 09:56 PM
There are so many colors in the rainbow, and they (kindergarten children) see every one. A kindergarten play is almost a rite of passage – an experience shared with parents, grandparents, etc. To cancel this important childhood experience in favor of the nebulous and problematic concept of “college and career readiness” at this stage of development would seem a rather questionable decision. Concentrating on preparing kindergarten students for first grade rather than college might be a more appropriate goal. I wonder how people reach positions of power and responsibility, and yet demonstrate this type of decision-making. I guess it has to do with changes in priorities and, possibly, the Peter Principle. Of course, the play could go on if appropriate teachers and parents adjusted their schedules to permit play practice after half-day class ends. And the play could also be put on after the kindergarten class day ends. The children would probably appreciate it.
ergodic May 10, 2014 at 01:01 PM
For those who missed it, the above Kindergarten story was mentioned in a recent Esquire article. Following are some excerpts: “…, a writer at HigherEd and education expert, highlighted the most egregious example of it all this week. Attributing it to the rigors of standardized test reform, a New York school got rid of an annual show put on by Kindergartners. When asked why it was cancelled, the school’s principal and four teachers wrote that it didn’t prepare the children for college and career”. (Refer to http://www.esquire.com/blogs/news/louis-ck-education) The author of the article continues: “We have joy deficit.”, and “We’re not taking the time to teach our kids a love of learning. We’re not treating our kids as people. We’re grooming them as tools for a future economy.”; ”…-and this generation of kids is getting the worse of it”. Conclusion: there’s not much support for the Elwood decision.
ergodic May 12, 2014 at 05:05 PM
Diane Ravitch’s blog for 05/12/2014 briefly reviews a Washington Post article: “6 reasons to reject Common Core K-3 standards”. The general criticism is that the CCSS for grades K-3 is developmentally inappropriate. Among other guidelines, the WAPO article states “Children need play in school now more than ever. They need teachers who are skilled facilitators of play…”. The blog ends with a reference to the recent Elwood kindergarten decision: “... (referring to the WAPO article) read the other mistakes that CCSS made in writing standards for K-3. Then you understand how foolish it was for a kindergarten class to cancel the annual class play because the children needed more time for rigorous academic studies”.
brookhavenconfucius May 12, 2014 at 05:14 PM
erogdic, WHAT ELSE could you expect, coming from a LESBIAN, PROGRESSIVE ALLEGED, ED-GEECATION ACTIVIST ? Certainly this touchee, feelee GOBBLELY GOOK !

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