When you think about it, it is amazing that I’m able to write this blog. Based on the findings of recent studies (subscription), I should be a complete failure.
While New Mexico struggles to provide pre-kindergarten for all 4-year-olds, a new report by the national Foundation for Child Development is recommending full-day pre-kindergarten for all 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds. It also recommends mandatory full-day kindergarten for all 5-year-olds.
You see, I didn’t go to a full day pre-k program beginning at age three, and my kindergarten education was only a measly half-day program. How I’ve survived thus far is simply amazing. In fact, my whole generation, and all those before us are just anomalies.
But here is the most startling discovery of all:
And there’s more bad news: Even the full-day public kindergarten that New Mexico fully implemented two years ago might not have the long-term effect educators had hoped for, the foundation says.
Full-day kindergarten gains can be lost by third grade unless children are part of a consistent system that extends from the age of 3.
Researchers say part of the reason for the “fade out” in gains made in preschool is that children who did not attend preschool hold back the advanced children when they reach first grade.
Difficult home environments and low-performing elementary schools also contribute to the fade-out, they say.
If I had gone to full-day pre-k program at three years old, I might be in a better position to understand the importance of this study. Right now, due to my undereducated mind, all I can make out is that this study seems to be saying that it really doesn’t matter when we begin the education process. It all comes down to stable homes and quality schools.