College Prep. For Kindergarteners. Really.

Have you heard the news? It’s great. One school in Long Island is so hell-bent on making sure they produce college graduates, they are canceling their “kindergarten show” in order to prep these 5-year olds for the big wide world they will enter in, oh, a decade and a half.

You might expect this from an uptight, competitive school in Manhattan. Might. But on Long Island? Come on. It’s not even an outer borough.

The administrators at the Harley Primary School in Elwood, NY sent a letter to parents. This, after protests began on the school’s decision to axe what is equivalent to an end-of-year school play.  Here’s an excerpt:

“We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers.” 


This take on it from Gothamist sums up what the school must really be going for:

“Gaining acceptance into a top school by 18, advancing quickly in a high-powered career by 25, developing a crippling addiction to pain pills by 32 and, if all goes well, a swift, stylishly-timed heart attack by 40. That’s efficiency.”

In all fairness, perhaps this little school in Long Island wants to make a name for itself and its students. Perhaps it is trying to be more like South Korea, which has one of the best education systems in the world, along with one of the highest student suicide rates in the world. Competition is cutthroat. Pressure is fierce.

I don’t blame them entirely for being worried about the next generation of kids. Many of the Millennials (and to some extent my generation, Gen-X) here in the U.S. have given us a crisis in confidence.  A minority of entitled slackers have made the majority fearful of becoming a country of deadbeats. But I’m not sure canceling a kindergarten show is the way to change that.

Anyone else care to second that thought?


pic of schoolteacher from

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