Today, Governor-elect Polis became Governor Polis at his ground-breaking ceremony celebrating the first openly-gay governor in U.S. history. Sure, there were cannons, shamans from Naropa University (what Boulder-based politicians wouldn’t have a Naropa representative?), Baptist ministers, Jewish singers, and more. There was just one thing missing from the PolisPalooza – mention of full-day kindergarten and preschool.
Yes, we know he mentioned a smorgasbord of other issues on which he campaigned, but, strangely, no early childhood education. What gives, Guv?
There could be a couple of reasons for this. First, a Harvard study recently came out criticizing early school enrollment as one cause of ADHD misdiagnoses. From the Harvard announcement:
“‘Our findings suggest the possibility that large numbers of kids are being overdiagnosed and overtreated for ADHD because they happen to be relatively immature compared to their older classmates in the early years of elementary school,’ said study lead author Timothy Layton, assistant professor of health care policy in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School.”
While Polis and other liberals espouse the talking points that it’s better to get kids in school sooner, the truth is that they may not fare as well. Although, let’s be honest, this policy push was never about the kids.
The other reason Polis may have now jettisoned a signature talking point is that he doesn’t have to kowtow to the teachers union any longer, at least not for three-and-a-half more years. The teachers unions love the idea of forcing kids into all-day school earlier and earlier because it translates to additional potential teachers to pursue as members. With dwindling numbers of members and complete lack of rationale for joining a union, teachers unions need all the help they can get.
Until then, Colorado’s newest Governor should leave this idea on the cutting room floor.