Tuesday, May 29, 2007

From: Ed Miller

Re: Follow-up on last week's Washington Post article

The Washington Post apparently received a flood of letters about last week's article on pushing kindergartners to read. (More Work, Less Play in Kindergarten, May 23). The Post published three letters on the subject today, including one from the Alliance's Joan Almon, which reads as follows:

You report big gains in tests of kindergartners‚ reading. But the acid test is what kind of readers these students will be in fourth grade and beyond. Will they be avid readers and learners? Research suggests that they won't. We see more and more children who are burned out by academic pressure by the fourth grade.

The demise of child-initiated play adds to the problem. Kindergarten teachers report that many children are at a loss when given time for imaginative play. Children are being robbed of their creative capacities, with vast implications for their lives and for society. We need creative thinkers to sustain democracy and to find innovative solutions to our problems.

There is no clear evidence that early reading brings long-term gains. This vast experiment needs careful scrutiny, not uncritical praise.


Coordinator, Alliance for Childhood

College Park

You can read other letters through the following link: Washington Post

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