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[Susan notes: Tagging President Obama's Preschool Initiative for what it is--Race to the Top for Tots is excellent. We should all use this descriptor.]

Submitted to Jewish Daily Forward but not published
03/19/2013

To the editor

Leonard Fein ( Abandoning the great equalizer: Education, March 16) is enthusiastic about President Obama's Preschool Initiative (see also "Our Preschool Challenge," Editorial, March 1). No doubt, the initiative sounds good, and makes common sense.

A close look at the details, however, reveals that to be funded, states have to adhere to learning standards, which include a "rigorous" curriculum, and "effective evaluation," in order to prepare students for the academic load of kindergarten (!!) (see "Fact Sheet President Obama's Plan for Early Education for all Americans," at www.whitehouse.gov).

Is the Preschool Initiative simply the Common Core extended to preschool? Race to the Top for Tots? There is no evidence showing that the "tough" academic standards and the increased testing of the Common Core for K-12 will help students, and there is no reason to impose it on three and four year olds.

Stephen Krashen


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