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Smarter than a Kindergartener

Noth Carolina ranks #23 when it comes to a ranking of the Smartest 50 States. That puts them in the middle of the pack. The ranking doesn't disturb me but what does bother me is a law passed that requires a child to be tested, at the parents expense, if the child misses the August 31 cut-off date.

Here's my dilemna: My grandson turns five less than a week AFTER the cut-off date of August 31. I have been told by a pyschologist that in order for him to be admitted he must take a reading and math test and be in the 99 percentile rate for passing. Basically, he must be SMARTER than a kindergartener. And if he doesn't pass, the $250 we have to pay to get him tested is NON-REFUNDABLE.

That makes absolutely no sense to me---especially since I see kindergarteners who don't know how to read or write.

When I brought this issue up in an informal setting recently, I had one woman tell me she thought it was cruel to push a child ahead because a parent considers their child gifted, advanced, more social, mature or whatever label. She also said she wondered how many parents are just trying to save on the astronomical cost of daycare by pushing a child into school early.

Those of you who know me well know her comments generated a very LIVELY debate and I'm sure I won't be invited to be in her company again----and luckily, there was a referee.


Every child is different, so I don't think there's a right or wrong to putting a child in school or not when they are so close to the cut-off. Our cutoff date here is the day school starts. In my son's case, it was Aug 22nd and his birthday is Aug 18th. He was a preemie, though, who was supposed to have been born in October. Anyway, he was so anxious to start school that, despite the school's advice to hold him back, I put him in. He was ok in the Kindergarten atmosphere, but when it came down to 1st grade, all day school, sitting at a desk and homework, I could really see his immaturity. I'm seeing it a bit in his swimming and diving, too. Some of his competition are seniors who turned 18 in the beginning of the school year. With the scholarships offered, they've had an extra year to hone their skills. It's a big advantage in those types of things, too. Hard to say, but I think if I had a do over, I'd think have held him back that year.
Pat Montgomery said…
Bev, I completely agree with you on this one! In my reading about the subject, I have found that testing a child that age is not only not appropriate, it is not accurate. They need to be in 3rd grade for any level of accuracy.

I addressed this issue in my blog when my daughter told me that my grandson needs to be able to read and write to get into kindergarten. That is ridiculous.

And as for when the child is admitted to kindergarten, that should be up to the parent, or caregiver, who know that child best.

Obviously you have hit on a sore point of mine. Good post.
Beverly said…
It sounds like your son was in kindergarten for a half day. That's not the case where I live and I don't think my grandson's issue is inmaturity. If anything, he needs FOCUS and that's something a structured school environment would give him.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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