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[Susan notes: It's remarkable that this letter made it into the press--and that they included the sources. I posted this at the newspaper site:

Thank you for posting a letter that points out the facts about President Obama's plan to put pre-schoolers on an academic treadmill. Children only get to be four years old once. As Jim Trelease points out: The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four -- of secondary importance is to prepare for being five.]

Published in Minnesota Post

To the editor

The Minnesota Post is clearly enthusiastic about increased federal funding for preschool ( Arne Duncan promotes Preschool for All to close 'opportunity gap'). Not mentioned, however, is the fact that to be funded, preschool programs have to include standards in language and literacy, and math and science, and that four-year old children will be tested regularly on their progress.

In other words, preschool is now school, with a curriculum and tests. In other words, Preschool for All is simply an extension of the common core standards and tests. There is no evidence supporting the common core for older students and there is no reason to impose it on four-year olds.

"States will be charged with montitoring these programs, determining their level of quality, making publicly available information about the quality of programs. States will be required to report data and information on these programs, including child outcome data and measures of quality. http://www.ed.gov/budget14/faqs/early-learning#q8

"Fact Sheet President Obama's Plan for Early Education for all Americans,at www.whitehouse.gov).

The Federal Register, (vol 78, #97, May 20, 2013), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-20/pdf/2013-11821.pdf

"Infants, toddlers and preschoolers are expected in meet standards in 'language and literacy development,' 'cognition and general knowledge' (including early math and early scientific development)... http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge/annual-performance-reports/mnfinalapr.pdf (p. 60)

Stephen Krashen

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