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When Your Best Isn't Good Enough

My four-year-old grandson is facing a dilemna that he is totally unaware of. Although he is READY for kindergarten, both emotionally and academically, he will not be permitted to attend next year because his birthdate falls past the cutoff date. The cutoff date is August 31---his birthday is September 6.

We were given three options:

1) Get tested for the Durham Public Schools Pre-Kindergarten Program
2) Get tested for early entrance in kindergarten
3) Return to daycare

On Wednesday, my grandson was tested by the Durham Public Schools Pre-K program. He scored in the 94 percentile. The tester told my daughter she was very impressed with his skills but was doubtful that he would be accepted because his score was TOO HIGH. He needed to score BELOW 60 percent. What in the %!#$%*!?! Are they serious?!

Option Two: In order to be tested for early entry into kindergarten, we must pay $500 to see if he will score in the 98 percentile. And if he doesn't pass, well, too bad--there's no refund.

Option Three: Return to daycare with two, three and four year olds. NOT A VIABLE OPTION!

My grandson proved this week that he deserves to be in kindergarten but because of some ridiclous North Carolina Board of Education Law, he may be held back because he will have to be on a first grade level in order to pass a test for kindergarten.

Sadly, the same system that is trying to promote academic excellence is also the same one that is holding kids back from being able to shine when they're ready.

So what happens when my grandson does finally enter kindergarten at 6 years old and is bored out of his mind because he already knows what 70 percent of his fellow classmates don't know? Will he then be considered a discipline problem?

How do you tell a child their best isn't good enough when you know in your heart, it really is?


Aurelia said…
What a CRAPPY System!! UGH. So he scored too high to be accepted into PreK and in order to be accepted into K he needs to score in the 99th percentile?

I would imagine with the way he seems to be learning that when he is eligible for K he will actually be on the 1st Grade level... is there a chance that he could perhaps just TEST INTO the 1st grade at the age of 6?
Beverly said…

It is a jacked-up system! The original date was Oct. 16 but a group of parents complained that kids were coming in and not ready so the State Legislature changed it to Aug. 31. I am hoping he will pass the test for kindergarten. We plan to have him tested in August, right before school starts.

Personally, I think it should be up to each individual school to determine if the child is ready.
Bella Bleu said…
Montessori school??? My daughter tested into Kindergarten early and has done very well! She will always be the youngest in her class but that doesn't bother her! I am very proud of her and she is doing very well
Beverly said…
Bella Bleu,

As I stated in my blog post, my grandson only misses the cutoff date by a week so he won't be younger. I just don't like the way the NC School system is handling the process with the fact that we have to PAY to get our children tested to prove to them that the child is smarter than a kindergartener because that's what it boils down to.

I do thank you for stopping by and commenting.
doughraisingmom said…
It sounds like a lot of parents need to start attending the school board meetings and get some things changed. is your school board elected? Those rules sound really ridiculous. Good luck. Grace
Grace Becker said…
It sounds like a lot of parents need to start attending the school board meetings and get some things changed. is your school board elected? Those rules sound really ridiculous. Good luck. Grace
Beverly said…
Hi doughraisingmom,

This law was handed down by the state legislature. The local school board must adhere to the state. I do think, however, local school boards should have more say in whether children can be accepted early.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Anonymous said…
You have to wonder how many children who AREN'T ready for kindergarten get accepted without question just because their birthday falls before some totally arbitrary deadline.

Jarod is a bright, verbal and outgoing little boy and certainly ready for kindergarten IMHO. It's ridiculous that he has to go through all of this testing just because of 7 days.
My son had the same problem because his birthday was on the 26th of september. Fortunately it seemed to work out better for him.

Good luck

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