Kindergarten is the new first grade, reports the Washington Post.
Kindergarten used to be mostly about play: singing songs, “housekeeping” in a Little Tikes kitchen and being read to. That is changing largely because of full-day kindergarten, which has swept the nation’s public schools in the past 20 years, stretching the instructional day from 2 1/2 hours to six.
Full-day kindergarten teachers are expected to teach beginning reading skills. Most students are able to learn the basics.
Last spring, nearly 90 percent of kindergarteners in Montgomery (County) passed a simple test that required them to read a short storybook, which would have been unthinkable in the county a decade ago. The percentage of kindergarten readers has more than doubled in five years.
There is virtually no racial achievement gap on the kindergarten reading test, but the gap appears in first and second grade as the reading tests get harder.