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Opening Arguments

All-day and pre-k

We're a little behind here in Indiana. We're still debating the merits of all-day kindergarten, and elsewhere they're already on to the universal-preschool debate:

Advocates argue that public investments in early education will pay dividends over the long term. Critics point out that the evidence from states that have universal preschool programs shows that whatever benefits kids receive from those programs fade out by the fourth grade.

We've interviewed all three of the candidates for superintendent of public instruction and a lot of school board candidates, and the fade-out point was made by some of them about all-day k. I'm just asking here, but would it be better to scrap a-d k because its effects tend to fade, or would it be better to keep it and reinforce its good effects in grades 1-3? Fort Wayne Community Schools is about to embark on an ambitious program completely reworking the high schools, but the real problem seems to be that we don't get the kids ready enough in the early grades, and too many of them are already lost by middle school.

I'm still skeptical about universal preschool, though. It seems an awful lot like very high cost babysitting to me.


Bob G.
Thu, 10/23/2008 - 11:49am

It IS, Leo...

And let's not forget that the SOONER and LONGER the "state" can "properly indoctrinate" these kids, the faster we'll all become happy, productive SOCIALISTS.

I'm smiling already...NOT!


Steve G
Fri, 10/24/2008 - 7:01am

I agree! When I ran for EACS school board earlier this year, I tried to raise the same issue. The administration wants to pursue FDK throughout the district. It does become expensive daycare for many students. And it's the taxpaers that get the bill. Where a legitimate need can be determined, implement it, but don't make a blanket program. Also the program is not fully funded currently by the state. To run FDK means to supplement the cost from other programs. What are you gonna cut??

tim zank
Fri, 10/24/2008 - 8:39am

FDK is nothing more than glorified daycare. At that age, you are not changing anyones future SAT scores, no matter what the frickin' NEA tells you.

It's a huge waste of money and it subverts parents' responsibilities.

William Larsen
Mon, 10/27/2008 - 11:03am

F-D-K is nuts. When you look at who is ready for school at age 5, there are really very few. Studies have shown those who are allowed to play, imagine and build things while young, tend to grow into very creative people. If at an early age you interrupt or consume the time used for this to teach them colors, numbers, etc, they tend to be book smart, but not creative.

I have five children, if given the choice one would have not gone to school until age 7 or 8.