Let me get this straight, transitional kindergarten (TK) is a new grade level designed for children with September through December birthdays. Basically, kindergarten teachers felt these children were socially “young” and had a hard time adjusting to school, or behaving. Because of this, children born between those months are placed into a TK classroom at a different school (not in own neighborhood) until the next year. At that time, they transfer back to their neighborhood school for another year of kindergarten.
Even though kindergarten is not required in California, my daughter, Grace, will have to endure two years of kindergarten because her birth date is one month after the new Sept. 1 cutoff date. Despite the fact that she knows her letters and sounds, can count from 1 to 30, and is already reading, she will need to attend two years of kindergarten. Does she really need an extra year of a non-required grade level? My son has an October birthday as well, but he entered school before this new law took effect. He is 7, in second-grade, and is accused by teachers of acting “young.” Yet he is among the top three students in his class and is advanced in math and reading. He is currently being tested to enroll into a more academic, high-achieving school.
Transitional kindergarten contradicts its own purpose. It is supposed to give the “young” children time to mature. However, the only result of transitional kindergarten is making them the oldest in their class rather than the youngest. For instance, Grace will turn 6 a month after kindergarten starts, yet the age to enter kindergarten is 5. Thus, she will be older than most of the students in her class. What’s next? The state will have to make another new law and program for these kids with spring birthdays because now they are too “young” and immature. When does it end? It doesn’t make sense.