Free-Range Kids

Government Standards Are Making 5-Year-Olds and Kindergarten Teachers Miserable

"I'm retiring earlier than I had planned because I just can't be a part of this any longer."


Increased academic pressure and testing in kindergarten is bringing everyone to tears—including the teachers.

When Dr. Peter Gray wrote a piece for his Psychology Today blog about kindergarten teachers in Brookline, Massachusetts, protesting dwindling recess time and mandated 90-minute reading and writing blocks, he received a virtual cubby full of comments from kindergarten teachers across the country at just about the end of their jump rope.

"I had to retire in 2017 because I could not take the pressure of having to force my 5- and 6-year-old students to sit with books…no talking allowed," wrote one. "I taught for 18 years and in the last three years…I heard students cry, talk about how they didn't understand, say they hated reading time."

Gray is a professor of psychology at Boston College and a co-founder, along with me, of Let Grow, a nonprofit promoting childhood independence. He writes often about how kids need to play—that this is how they learn how to get along, be creative, make things happen, and grow up. Playtime isn't wasted time: It's intensely educational, just not in a standardized test kind of way. When administrators replace play with academics, the gains are short-lived, but the damage is not.

The teachers writing Gray were in heated agreement—and despair. He curated about a dozen comments, which could almost be used to illustrate Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief.

"I have taught kindergarten for nearly 40 years," wrote one. "Common Core expectations for kindergarten seem to have trickled down from the top, and the people who wrote it thought that they could legislate quicker child development."

Another teacher wrote that she was appalled to hear these words coming out of her own mouth: "'We do NOT play in kindergarten. Do not do that again!' (to a student building a very cool 3D scorpion with the math blocks instead of completing his assigned task to practice addition.)"

Despite the requirements and testing, "I foolishly thought I could sneak art and play in, but I was wrong," wrote another disillusioned educator. "The Curriculum Cops showed up in the class I was doing my student teaching in, and that was the beginning of the end for me. Now I just sub and sneak in fun for the kids whenever I can."

The problem is that kindergarten has been dumbed up to first grade. That is, the kids are being taught a curriculum once reserved for older kids. This isn't making them smarter. It's just making them more miserable. You too would be ready to throw in the towel (and perhaps a couple of stuffed animals), if you were being prepped with materials like this teacher describes: "Last week I gave my 5-year-olds a reading assessment that required them to infer the meaning of 'bifocals' after hearing a 5-paragraph story about Ben Franklin (the story had no pictures). This is the kind of madness that permeates curriculum design for kindergarten. I'm retiring earlier than I had planned because I just can't be a part of this any longer."

The teachers can quit. The students have a 12-year-stretch ahead of them.

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  1. When administrators replace play with academics, the gains are short-lived, but the damage is not.


    1. Indeed, the strong measures in place will help weed out individuals unfit for the rigors of our advanced programs here at NYU. Too much “play” leads to an improper mindset, which can at times mutate into an overindulgence in certain forms of “speech” that we strongly discourage students from using here, including mimetic irony, which, at its worst, can even take the form of illegal “parody.” Real preparation for academic careers at the earliest stages of socialization can help keep criminal elements away from our college campuses, and will tend to guide those we select for our programs towards a better understanding of the need for our ongoing cooperative efforts with law enforcement authorities. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

      1. A-1, you idiot.

        1. This is a highly inappropriate form of insult, whose popularity is unfortunately increasing not only in the Internet chatrooms, but in normal social and educational venues as well–recently we had to send out notices to students that language of the sort would not be tolerated in any of the lounges here and could lead to expulsion.

        2. Sevo: Quixote has drank the lib kool aide. Unless we get rid of the Federal Dept. of Un-Education (thank you Jimmy The Peanut) this country is lost. Kids are now graduating from high school who can’t read, write, think, and are taught nothing about how and why this country was founded. Un-Common Core and Every Child Left Behind have got to go!

          1. Far more important than reading, writing, why our great nation was founded, and other similar matters, is that they aren’t being taught how to behave themselves properly and refrain from inappropriate “speech,” which is why we have been having so many problems here at NYU. We are still looking for solutions, but in the meantime, when in doubt, we will not hesitate to call in law enforcement to maintain order on campus.

      2. This has to be parody, right?

        1. And here we go with the outrageous accusations–this one is even worse than being called a detractor of Avital Ronell, which all of us here at NYU regard as a serious academic offense, one far worse than the “plagiarism” people like to talk about when they have nothing better to do.

    2. Thanks so much for the serendipitous find. Yesterday I was wondering about isotope-dating of those scrolls. I’ll be following that blog.
      Oh, just ignore the coprophage.

      1. Oh Hank, you think that shit is clever.

        It isn’t.

  2. Change the lessons to make them easier? What about the 10% (or 40% or whatever) of the kids that succeeded in the lessons? What about the smaller percentage of kids that still found them too easy?

    No institutional remedy is the right answer. The right answer is different for every kid. Getting it right requires anti-institutional thinking: an individualized approach. Government education can’t deliver that and therefore fails a significant number of children. Americans should stop supporting government education.

    1. Americans should stop supporting government education.

      At a minimum.Preferably they shouldn’t support education at all.

      1. They shouldn’t support what’s called “education” at all. (FTFY)

      2. Government education is child abuse.

    2. This isn’t about individuals. The development of children at that age, all children at that age, requires movement and play not sitting for long stretches doing academic work. That’s where government is failing. And I’m saying this as someone who read without instruction at the age of 4 and started kindergarten knowing how to read and write.

      1. Different individuals need different approaches at different times in their lives. The instructional approach will always be wrong for some fraction of any group.

      2. Me too. My older sister ( who was 6) taught me to read when I was 4,5 years old. My son didn’t read well until he was 8. He now has 2 masters degrees. (In geology and engineering). It is possible for schools to adapt to individual kids. This forcing little kids to do academic work is nonsense and counterproductive.

    3. Perhaps in the not too distant future we will have access to intelligent educational software that will allow kids to progress at their own rate, will identify strengths and weaknesses and adapt curriculum accordingly and provide individual feedback and positive reinforcement. One size fits all education isn’t working in the USA as our kids continue to lose ground to those in other developed and developing countries.

    4. I agree, school and state should be separated, for essentially the same reasons church and state are separated. There’s no need for government to write laws respecting certain schools, or to prohibit any schools. The free market will deliver much better education, at lower costs than government ever will. Because it responds to the demands of consumers, unlike government.

  3. vouchers, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers

    1. education freedom, educational freedom, educational freedom, educational freedom, educational freedom, educational freedom, educational freedom, educational freedom

      1. Like I said. Vouchers, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers.

    2. Yes, vouchers would be a step in the right direction, but politically there is absolutely no chance of that happening anytime soon. Educational software has lagged behind other disciplines for the simple reason that the education associations are protecting their turf.

  4. “Playtime isn’t wasted time: It’s intensely educational, just not in a standardized test kind of way.”

    If it can’t be measured, you didn’t do anything.

    /prog bureaucrat

    1. If there were no more progtards, then progtardation would cease to exist.

      Think about it.

  5. “Common Core expectations for kindergarten seem to have trickled down from the top, and the people who wrote it thought that they could legislate quicker child development.”

    Ah, yes. Common Core. Where my 8 year old niece and nephew are no longer solving equations. They’re “writing math sentences”.

    1. Find a school that teaches saxon math. It is what I did.

      1. I wish I had Saxon math when I was a young’un.

      2. We moved our oldest son to a classic curriculum parochial school that teaches Saxon math and it’s been great! He suffered through common core math and various other BS at the public school and was so bored he stopped paying attention, which got him labeled as a “problem” student.

        1. “Saxon math”

          You’re as dumb as the people you rail against.

          Or this was good sarc.

      3. Had to look that up. My guess had been that it used futhark or involved Saxon combat tactics.

  6. While I’d be interested to see whether the people these teachers voted for supported common core, simply from a schadenfreude standpoint, the reality is that every President in modern memory has attempted some ham handed education reform, so the party is really not the problem, the system is.

    1. Well the system will make them “Miserable” for the rest of their lives. May as well learn that in Kindergarten.

      1. Or maybe it’s due time to Buck the System. Get the government out of education and put it back into the hands of production where they “really” know what needs to be learned for the future of society to progress.

    2. “the reality is that every President in modern memory has attempted some ham handed education reform, so the party is really not the problem, the system is.”

      Ronald Reagan had every intention to eliminate the Department of Education. Bill Bennett and the RINOS weren’t up to the task.

      1. Cool….. I didn’t know Ronald Reagan was… Ted Cruz was too.

      2. “every intention”

        That’s why he’s in hell.

    3. Fuck that. There is one party that dominates virtually all school boards nationwide And it’s the same one the teachers belong to. The Teacher Union in most states is one of the top 3 political action groups. And not a squeak has been made about repealing common core or creating common core sanctuary states.

  7. “I had to retire in 2017 because I could not take the pressure of having to force my 5- and 6-year-old students to sit with books…no talking allowed,” wrote one. “I taught for 18 years and in the last three years…I heard students cry, talk about how they didn’t understand, say they hated reading time.”

    This is astounding. I loved to read at that age. I cannot imagine not reading every day. I was once bored in high school and read Marx just for kicks. I laughed all the way through it, but I read it.

    1. That’s because we weren’t forced. I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the 8th grade just to see what all the fuss was about. I was going through Dante in High School.

      However, the focus on reading turns it from fun into work. It pushes all of the interest right out of the kids. To compare, I loved Shakespeare because it was a fun time watching a play with the family as a small child. If I had been introduced to it as a high schooler reading it by rote for some class, I would have had the same opinion as my classmates

      1. Our boys loved to read when they were in grade school. But the reading requirements and tests become punitive as they progressed into middle school and junior high. Because they were advanced readers, they had to read more books and more complex books to meet the requirements. That meant they had to spend inordinate amounts of time reading and read books that didn’t interest them. Hence, reading become a chore and they both lost the love of reading. As adults, they can both read at a college level but they don’t read at all now. “Education” FTW!

      2. As someone who once had a love of reading and destroyed it by getting a BA then an MA in English lit, I can concur. Nothing will destroy a love of reading faster than school if you let it.

        1. I’m cynical enough to suspect that it’s at least partly intentional. Make kids hate to read and they’re more likely to believe whatever shit the state tells them.

    2. That’s the problem, kids arent taught to be bored anymore. They now have Netflix and disney to be constantly entertained. They dont have to go discover their interests from boredom.

  8. Much as my heart bleeds for the camp guards forced to herd the little kiddies into the showers, I kinda have to wonder if they should have known what they were getting into when they were trying on the uniform. If you’re so afraid of the Curriculum Cops that you’ll torture little children if you’re told rather than tell the evil bastards to fuck off, I’m not real sympathetic.

    1. The point is that it’s changed in the last few years. Many of us started teaching when the kindergarten curriculum was still art, crafts, music, body movement, listening to stories, and play, and the curriculum in the early grades was much more developmentally-appropriate. None of us are clairvoyant.

      1. Mein kampf explained what Hitler would do.

        The dept of Education, Common Core, and local Lefty school districts all explained the game plan.

        The fact that some people are surprised where we are at shows how shitty our education system is. The idiots running it think they need to be clairvoyant to see government technocrats ruin what once was very good and free basic American 1-12 education.

        1. Dude, you are being overly harsh here. People choose careers based on what it is like at the time they enter. Who can predict the future? Are you clairvoyant? If so, you might consider playing the stock market.

          1. F that.
            Teach the way you think is right.
            Make them fire you.
            Don’t we always hear how difficult it is to fire “bad” teachers?
            So who cares what The State decrees?

          2. Janitors like to be janitors?

            Garbage men like to be garbage collectors?

            Most people fall into careers based on life decisions. Teachers get education degrees because they think theyre good with kids and want to Teach kids things. Well, teaching involves more than just being able to teach a kid to count.

            Welcome to the real world jackass!

      2. We homeschool. Screw this noise.

    2. As a spouse of one of these camp guards, I can tell you that 99% of the ire is misplaced.

      I have co-workers, acquaintances and have seen enough blog comments to know that the first email you send, is to the teacher. And until you understand that you’re spinning your wheels, nothing is going to change.

      A teacher has very, very little to say about what goes on in the classroom. When my wife first started teaching, she was loosed with the most up to date knowledge of early childhood education and development. When she started her career, she was a decade ahead of current school practices. Her test scores were consistently 10-15 points higher than the county averages.

      Why were her test scores so high? You’d think some administrator would ask, them implement those practices. Well, the administration did ask, and when she told them she was implementing what she had just learn in school…..they reprimanded her. She was not following the curriculum…getting great scores and bumping up each child’s reading level two or three grades yes, but not following the curriculum gave her a “reputation” and it nearly cost her job.

      Fast forward 5 years, and the administration called all the teachers together and told them about “some new ways of teaching” that they would be following. It was the same stuff she was reprimanded for teaching 5 years earlier. To the point; she made them open up her personal file and make a note that she was now being told to do something that 5 years ago was word-for-word verboten.

      She’s still pressing on, but it gets worse every year. A new set of curriculum replaced every 3-4 years, only to find out that it was/is the very same curriculum that they tried out 6-8 years ago. Millions are spent on these curriculums.

      I say all that to say this:

      If you do not like what’s being taught in the classroom, don’t complain to the teacher…she is first and foremost worried about if her students have food/clothing/ and a place to sleep (happens every year) and shoving 90 minutes of math in the next 30 minutes because “there is an assembly” that day.

      Instead, complaint to your county/State administrators.

      1. Excellent point. But maybe the local school board is where to address your complaints.

      2. Hahaha. The school board is virtually elected by the teachers union. Your spouse made this sandwich, now they and the kids get to eat it.

        1. +10000

          Lefty teachers and their Lefty teacher unions run these school systems.

          Now lie in your bullshit, you kid dumbing down hypocrites.

        2. Stop ascribing group guilt.

          Responding to a thoughtful post relaying personal experience with derision just makes you look like an a-hole.

  9. You have to be a fool to put your kids in public school.

    Or poor with no choices.

    1. My children test far above their publicly educated peers, they have rich social lives, freedom to pursue their individual interests, and never worry about mass shootings.
      As you may have guessed, we homeschool.
      It’s not for everyone, but if you’re willing to sacrifice, and put in the effort, it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
      I don’t want some bureaucrats dictating how many hours my kindergarteners are required spend reading or target shooting!

      1. +100

  10. having to force my 5- and 6-year-old students to sit with books…no talking allowed

    I couldn’t imagine that. Then I realized she meant no talking by the students. Still not good. It does seem like today’s kindergarten is more like yesterday’s first grade. Which may be why there is the push for universal pre-K, which would be like yesterday’s kindergarten.

    If I remember thing right, back when I was in kindergarten (1957-58 school year), there was little if any reading in class until near the end of the year. Then each student picked a book from a selection made available in the classroom and was asked to read a page or two aloud. My book was about the planet Venus, and how it was (so they thought) a “sister world” of Earth. I could have read it very smoothly, without pauses or hesitation, but I deliberately slowed my reading down to match the pace of the other students who had their turn to read before me.

    But government rules were affecting the class even then. In April, we were all called to the gym to be weighed and measured. We were told to take off our clothes, except for undershorts, and stand on the scale and against a measuring stick. Now, I liked my kindergarten teacher a lot, but I was already protective about my body, and didn’t really want her seeing me in my underwear. I asked if that was really necessary, and she insisted that it was, because the Federal government required it, and had been requiring it since the 1930s. When she said that, the thought came unbidden into my head that that sounded like “something the enemy would do.” Then I wondered to myself what on Earth I meant by “the enemy”. I really hadn’t learned anything about World War II at that point, but that was what came to my mind.

    1. having to force my 5- and 6-year-old students to sit with books…no talking allowed

      That’s what Ritalin is for…

  11. To be honest, I would have like sitting and reading and not having to talk to my fellow 5 year olds. By the second grade I enjoyed Time, Newsweek and Reader’s Digest and was obsessed by the Patty Hearst kidnapping.

    1. I was an early reader too but I wasn’t forced all day to sit still and read. I’m assuming you also spent a lot of time playing with friends and toys. I’m also going to assume that your kindergarten was only half day and that included a nice nap time, movement, playing with blocks and lots of finger painting because that was typical at the time. You can’t compare that with a full day kindergarten where there is little to no recess and an academic focus.

  12. Well dah…most teachers camp with the liberals and as you sow, so shall you reap. They are teaching kids how to be robots for the socialist cause. Just ask Gruesome Greta.

    1. 1000+ Probably the best point here. Do they push for socialist education because they “really” believe it works; or do they push it just to keep/get a paying (lobby for more pay) job??? Might be the real situation being looked at.

      1. The Socialist soldiers do jobs like teaching for various reasons but clearly its not for money. Although it is a job and if you spent years in college learning how to teach with no business world skills, you would probably take whatever job was offered. Plus, student loans can be written off by taking certain jobs.

        I get how restrictive school administrators can be with curriculum but judges tend to say the same type of thing “my hands are tied by the law”. Yet they still work there and continue to “do their job”. Add in voting trends, teacher union memberships, and donations to the Democrat Party and you get a picture that in fact academic types might have a knowledge base in their field but they prefer government solving problems because they are very ignorant about free market solutions.

        1. Good point. There are quite a few teachers who took the job because it was all they could get. And a great number are attracted by the stable paycheck and not having to think for themselves. These inferior teachers unfortunately dominate the politics of teachers’ unions. Socialism, as usual, finds the lowest common denominator and forces all down to that level.

          Break the unions and education can flourish again.

  13. What the edu-crat cabal has done to the once-proud ( and very nearly 100% student Proficiency-productive) Us K-12 public-ed system since the ’50’s, when it last functioned as Horace Mann envisioned, is an on-going disgrace. And an expensive one at that: not only in annual per-pupil spending (as exemplified by the kind of social-wokiness navel-gazing evident in this K-play-or-read argument) but more importantly, long-term, by the Reading and Math student-achievement Proficiency percentages which have been shown by the last almost 40 years of annual Federal testing: only about a third of all students can ever read and count at grade level. Cure: dust off and re-deploy the 50’s model. It worked.
    Martin Harris

    1. I don’t think we want the schools to function as Horace Mann envisioned them. He explicitly said he didn’t want students to think for themselves, but rather to be obedient servants of the State. Public schools are following his vision all too well.

    2. Pretty sure more money for the grownups that run these rackets would solve the problem. It’s called success through failure. Never fails.

  14. Teaching ain’t sexy. Along with those papers you’re grading on your own time unpaid, you’re bringing home head lice and bed bugs and stomach bugs EVERY.WINTER.BREAK.

    I blog now.
    I’m still broke, but happy with my 80s nostalgia.

    But seriously, the government is requiring kids to learn in a way they aren’t developmentally ready too. It’s sad. All the way around sound and then you look at society and wonder where the social skills went.

  15. Teaching ain’t sexy. Along with those papers you’re grading on your own time unpaid, you’re bringing home head lice and bed bugs and stomach bugs EVERY.WINTER.BREAK.

    I blog now.
    I’m still broke, but happy with my 80s nostalgia.

    But seriously, the government is requiring kids to learn in a way they aren’t developmentally ready too. It’s sad. All the way around sound and then you look at society and wonder where the social skills went.

    1. oh, oops. It froze and posted twice! My bad!

      But I can go on and on about how multiplication facts and cursive are being ignored. “Higher order thinking” is being demanded without any regard for rote memory skills that are required to get to the higher order thinking.

      Ugh, this makes me sick. This is why I don’t teach anymore.

      1. Democrats always need progress, so going back to an education system that worked but needed some high tech tweaking is unthinkable.

        1. Democrats always need the appearance of progress


          1. True.

  16. Kindergarten replaced 1st grade when many school districts made it compulsory and PTA parents decided if they were going to pay taxes for it, it would be more than babysitting playtime. Of course, the extra year of learning at the beginning has been seemingly pissed away by Senior year when most everyone gets to coast (having already gotten accepted at college) with fluff courses.

    1. Instead I took AP courses and skipped a year of Columbia.

      1. Instead I took CLEP tests and skipped almost 2 years of my Undergraduate degree.

        Education is what you make of it and home schooling is proof that modern schools are not the best way to get highly educated kids.

  17. Montessori is a good option especially in the younger ages. None of this nonsense like forced reading time. Playtime and outdoor playtime is simply a part of school.

    My wife taught Montessori kindergarten in the past. I remember watching when they went out for playtime. The kids had created a ‘ town out of things they found with a store, school, and other things. Also they have to get out and run around. What are these people thinking? Have they never seen a five year old?

    1. “Have they never seen a five year old?”

      No, and most of them were hatched as adults from alien pods.

      1. Pretty sure that’s what Rev is always going on about

    2. They have but they’ve only seen traditionally schooled 5 year olds. That’s like trying to learn chimpanzee behavior by watching two chimps caged together in zoo though they behave nothing like chimps in the wild.

    3. I was a year behind in reading before my parents pulled me out of public school and sent me to Montessori. After just a year or two there I was testing as someone two grades ahead in not just reading, but comprehension as well.

      Whatever they are doing at that school WORKS.

      1. Montessori uses more individualized child education techniques.

        In other words, one book does not fit all kids.

  18. the commies at work still…. mke the kids so frustrated and defeated with “eductation” they’ll all quit and end up becoming mindless drones, replaceable and interchangeable cogs in the corporate-government machine.

    Any parent worthy of the name who abandons their children to the gummit skewl sisdumb should be taken out to the woodshed and flogged.

    If their chi;dren truly are precious to them, educate them at home, put them in a private or coop school, whatever it takes.

    Watch the young of any animal… they spend their early days, often up to the first year or two of their lives, playing… they learn how their bodies work, how to control them, how to “read” their environment, how to interact in the rough and tumble of daily life, teamwork, give-and-take, they become trained in the critical life skills they need to survive….. but OUR kids are denied even a little play time….
    When I was growing up a few decades ago, we hd pretty free rein in the neighbourhood, playing at each others’ houses, or the schoolyard behind our street. No fences, gates, we had to stay out of the way of those school kids in their play and sports, but when tjey were done it was all ours. We HAD to learn how to solve our problems, protect each other, learn skills we did not have from those who did. Anyshenannigans somehow always got reported back home, and we got the trouble we deserved and needed. Ages were all mixed up, the little ones had to learn where they couls safely be, and we bigger ones had to not run over them.When theinevitable hurt came along, we’d stop and help them. I do not remember any of us getting any broken bones, but I do remembe one of my little sisters, on a bike too big for her when she was just learning, forgot to check to the right for cars, made a wobbly turn in front of one, and got hit. Took a tumble, a bit of road rash, no broken bones, a patch of hair skinned off (she had plenty to spare back then) and was back on the bike the next day… VERY aware of where to look for cars. I think the driver was worse off than she was….. we ALL survived. And are doing well, sixty years later.

    1. Oh, and we ALL learned our schoolwork could read well by five or so, maths, geography, spelling, all the rest. Those that wanted to went to colllege and finished, those that did not are doing things ilike building high end custom homes, flying big Boeing aircragft all over the world, accounting, management, inventing computer applications, training TSA new hires (and making sure they understand we the travellers are not trach to be tossed about and abused)

  19. It has always been my understanding that kindergarten was meant to teach children, while they are at a very impressional age, how to associate with others their age.

  20. At that age, play IS a child’s work.

  21. I’m starting to think government-run schools aren’t such a great idea.

    1. You couldnt replace “schools” with just about anything and you would still be correct.

  22. One thought. With the rapid adoption of digital technologies, won’t we see higher rates of home schooling, in the future? We already have cyber-charter schools. What I am saying is that this problem will probably self-correct in time as home schooling increases.

    1. Only a little. If both parents work, who has time or energy to homeschool?

      Of course this is how neighborhood schools started. Several families got together and hired a schoolteacher while the parents ran the farm or family store. That school was outsourced to local government and eventually to state governments, and now the feds are calling the shots. Get rid of all state and federal education departments and cross-city organizations (unions) and things would vastly improve for 3/4 of students. How to handle the rest would still be an issue. Parochial schools? Charters?

      1. You will likely see homeschooling offerings via video conference.

        But frankly, if you have kids, one parent should really stay at home.

        Raising kids is like sex in a marriage: you can outsource it, but should you?

      2. BigT, good questions. My point was with advances in digital technologies, the ability to homeschool becomes much more viable than ever before.

  23. Good! Maybe this will discourage parents from sticking their kids into kindergarten.

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  25. I saw a meme (yeah I know) that the Obama administration gave Pearson Publishing 350 mil to create Common Core curriculum, then a subsidiary of that company gave Obama 65 mil for his book deal.

    It would be interesting if some sort of investigative journalist at Reason looked into this cuz I have no idea if it’s true.

    1. Is Reason really where you come for such investigative journalism?

      You will be disappointed.

    2. At least one Mikey around here wants reason to have truthful articles.

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  28. The HyR bloggers have probably been over this ground before — seems they’re squeezing a lot of mileage these days out of repetitious coverage — but this article could’ve said at least something about how the national (?) government gets this leverage over kindergarten content.

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  31. If kindergarteners need more play time, let’s cut down on class time and fire some teachers.

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  33. You will likely see homeschooling offerings via video conference,,,
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  34. The irony of all this being that the product coming out of the US education system is increasingly shittier with each passing decade – but that’s to be expected when “everyone gets a trophy” and college primarily serves as a conduit for the schools to access government money in the form of financial aid, which goes into their building funds and the deans’ pockets, while the student walks off with the debt…who cares if they know anything, just as long as they provide funds access.

  35. i am laughing out loud at the irony here. the majority of public schools are dreadful bad and the administrations and nanny staters simply cannot see that THEY caused the skid that we see now with the graduates being unable to parse a sentence or name the 13 colonies, but they can recite dozens of the acceptable gender pronouns. such a skill will be invaluable as they mark up the cups as they pursue their barista career. the damage is done, the unions stood by and let it happen and now we live with the consequences

  36. As mentioned above, I was going to chime in with the irony at play here. Teachers complaining about a curriculum dictated by a bureaucracy they support. I bet you not too many of them are fans of De Vos.

    As for the notion of focusing on reading and not play, that’s exactly the wrong ‘play’ excuse the pun.

    Any child education professional will tell you PLAY is the best way to educate for children. In Italy, this philosophy is found in the Reggio Emilia approach or way where the curriculum is focused on the STUDENT.

    At our day-care, this is the approach we have chosen and the results have been what you’d expect them to be: Excellent.

    For example, our grounds are roughly 16 000 sq ft. not too far from a marsh and at the foot of the Laurentians 40 minutes north of Montreal.

    It’s not uncommon for all sorts of critters, animals and the like to be wandering around our land. With the Reggio way, the thinking is to let the kids explore and learn about the environment while the educator incorporates a program of learning through PLAY.

    Duh. Who woulda thought? Kids love to learn when they’re happy and in control of their learning!

  37. Submit a mental health guest post if your words have the power to save someone’s life or change it for the better. Become a contributor to our site.

  38. All governments are horrible. The goal is to have the least horrible government you can have.

    Well, we need to kick them out of education, cause that just means they screw up yet another thing.

    1. Sorry. That involves taking money out of the pockets of unions. NEVER. HAPPEN.

  39. A good read on the failure of education would be Bryan Caplan’s, “The Case Against Education”. He lays out the failure and unnecessity of any academic education for the majority of young-uns K-12. It is a great analysis of the waste of time and money government-mandated education is for most. Especially an education that ignores individual strengths and weaknesses.
    He is an esteemed professor of economics and statistics from

    George Mason University who has seen in his 3 decades-long experience, the damage government-mandated education has done not only to those who are victims, also our society and culture.

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