All I Really Need to Know I (Should Have) Learned in Kindergarten

Are no-excuses charter schools setting kids up to struggle later by pushing academic skills too hard, too soon? 

By Emily Kaplan
backpack-schoolThe very youngest children at the charter school at which I taught all start their nine-hour school day in the same way: by reciting the school “creed.”

“I AM A…SCHOLAR,” the two hundred children chant. The principal weaves among the tables, making sure that the children “track” her by turning their heads in accordance with her movement. One child lets out a giggle. He is immediately sent to the Silent Area.

I HAVE THE POWER TO DETERMINE WHO I AM, WHO I WILL BECOME, AND WHAT I DO IN LIFE. They point their thumbs to their chests, extend their arms, and stack their fists in unison. I WILL STAY FOCUSED ON ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE. 

I notice that one of my second-grade students is wearing one neon green sock, in stark defiance of the dress code. I am contractually obligated to order him to take it off or to send him to the dean. I smile and look away.


I turn my attention to the table of kindergartners next to me. They’re my favorite to watch, these tiny children who haven’t yet learned to be predictable.

Most mouth the words obediently: TODAY IS A STEP ON MY PATH TOWARD SUCCESS! On cue, their little fists shoot into the air.

The principal smiles and returns to the front of the cafeteria. Ignoring the group of children sitting stone-faced in the Silent Area, she announces that we’re about to sing a catchy song about self-determination.

But I am giggling. The kindergartner next to me didn’t say “path to success.” He said “path to recess.”

Success in the early grades
This school is obsessed with success. Its students chant about it daily; its walls are plastered with banner-sized recipes in bold fonts and bright colors. And its proponents claim that, because it has the highest test scores in the state, it has achieved it.

These test scores don’t tell the whole story, of course, but they are also not meaningless. The school’s youngest students— children of color from
predominantly low-income families— can do a lot. These five-, six-, and seven-year-olds who start each day by pumping their fists into the air while chanting about success are articulate in person and on the page; they are perspicacious readers and creative, rational mathematicians. The nine hours a day they spend in classrooms named after four-year colleges— where every lesson is aligned to a standard and cut-out caterpillars with their names on them publicly climb the Reading Level Mountain—enable them to attain academic milestones earlier than their peers in more traditional school environments, where children spend six-hour school days engaged in less direct instruction and more play-based, child-driven exploration.*

If the early attainment of academic skills—coupled with constant, explicit messaging about the necessity of pursuing long-term goals—were a primary determinant of long-term success, it stands to reason that the young children at this “no-excuses” school would continue, unobstructed and ahead of the curve, on their “path to success.” But they don’t.

If the early attainment of academic skills—coupled with constant, explicit messaging about the necessity of pursuing long-term goals—were a primary determinant of long-term success, it stands to reason that the young children at this “no excuses” school would continue, unobstructed and ahead of the curve, on their “path to success.” But they don’t.

Adolescent struggles
Once children at this school reach adolescence, they struggle. Their high school entrance exam percentiles are far lower than those of their state standardized tests, and they are not admitted in large numbers to the most selective high schools. At the high schools they do attend, they struggle: in their first semester, 81% of last year’s ninth graders earned below a 3.0 grade point average. Existing evidence indicates that these students— who have spent their entire educational careers, from kindergarten onward, in classrooms named after four-year colleges, striving toward big long-term goals like Excellence and Success— aren’t graduating from college in large numbers. They aren’t Excelling, and the extent to which they are even Succeeding is debatable.

So why is this? Why do children who learn to read earlier than their peers do so poorly in ways that matter later on? Why do children for whom every aspect of their education, from kindergarten onward, is tailored toward graduating from college so often struggle to graduate from college?

Reflecting on my experiences teaching both at this school and at more traditional public schools, I find myself wondering if the methodology that enables young children to achieve so much so early actually hinders their long-
term prospects. What if the struggles of graduates of “no excuses” schools reveal deficits that are not academic, but rather socioemotional? What would happen if, instead of spending nine hours a day engaged in academic tasks determined by a teacher, children were to spend a large portion of their day developing “soft skills” that would enable them to overcome the hurdles they will encounter when they’re older? What if, like their suburban counterparts, they spent large portions of their day in rigorous, developmentally appropriate activities: learning to make friends, make art, and make believe, exploring and creating their interests and their identities?

That is, what if a necessary component of improving the long-term prospects of small children from disadvantaged backgrounds is not accelerating through childhood, but purposefully lingering in it?

That is, what if a necessary component of improving the long-term prospects of small children from disadvantaged backgrounds is not accelerating through childhood, but purposefully lingering in it?

The case for developmentally appropriate activities
To some, this approach might seem counterintuitive: the earlier you board the train, say, the further you’ll go, and sooner. (Indeed, this type of reasoning seems to drive the leaders of the no-excuses school reform movement, who are seldom experts on childhood development.) This type of “sooner, faster, further” thinking goes astray when applied to education, however, because child development is both non-linear and marked by largely immutable landmarks. (Just as the age at which developmentally normal babies learn to recess 1walk occurs within a span, countless studies have shown that the long-term academic abilities of a child who learns to read at six are no weaker than one who learns at four.)

Pushing children to attain academic skills they will attain regardless— while depriving them of other, more developmentally appropriate activities that would enable them to succeed independently when they are older— is short-sighted at best. Implementing a more developmentally appropriate curriculum for young children might result in lower test scores in the short term, but I suspect that its long-term effects— both in terms of test scores and more relevant measures of success— would compensate. (This solution, however, is admittedly incomplete; I suspect that in order to set children living in poverty on a true “path to success,” communities require resources and support that no school on its own is capable of providing.)

Maybe, though, letting small children linger in childhood would endow them with more of the real skills necessary to STAY FOCUSED ON ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE. Maybe, in the long run, it would better enable them to MAKE SMART CHOICES. Maybe my little neighbor, who pumped his fist in the air as he conflated success with recess, was on to something.

Emily Kaplan is an elementary school teacher living in Boston. Contact her at

*[1] Many argue that this is a pervasive problem in early childhood classrooms nationwide. The “no excuses” methodology is an extreme example of this approach, and I would argue that its consequences are proportionately severe. 


  1. The biggest obstacle at this point is convincing people of color that play is better than “academics” at early ages. My daughters attended a black-owned, predominantly black-attended, play-based daycare and every year on parents’ night most of the parents would be demanding homework and worksheets for their 3 to 5 year old children. Because the owner was black herself, the parents were willing to listen to her explanations about play to some extent, but there was still a lot of resistance. “These kids need to be learning, not playing” was a common refrain.

    When the play vs. work argument is made by white people, good luck with that. People of color tend to hear that explanation as yet another refusal to educate children of color. They are convinced that it is white America’s way of continuing to withhold education from their kids. I understand why they feel that way – I certainly understand the history. But somehow people of color will need to figure out for themselves that this “no excuses”, “academic” focus is, in fact, the true denial of proper education for children of color. As a white person, I’m not sure how to make that argument or even that I can.

    1. Absolutely true–but not just for people of color. The majority of American parents who are forced to send their kids to public school have been brainwashed into believing the definition of success as defined by a single segment of society. They believe that, in order for their children to “succeed,” they must win the standards and assessment game. That game guarantees nothing but a bell curve in which a few people are “on top,” while the majority find themselves convinced that they are no better than “average” at best and shouldn’t even consider dreaming about a better future for themselves. This “game” is successful in creating generations of worker bees for business owners, and reinforcing social classes.

      Only children whose parents can afford to send them to independent, private, or progressive schools have access to an individualized, learner-centered environment that helps them develop their unique potential, become independent thinkers and lifelong learners, and recognize their own agency.

      If the obsession with “academics,” which has devolved into hundreds of easy context-free factoids that can be assessed in multiple choice tests, is so great, why don’t educational policy makers, such as former DOE secretary Arne Duncan…as well as many wealthy parents, send their kids to public schools? And why do they enforce policies that are the antithesis of what their own children experience for everyone else?

      1. I agree that there is far too much buy-in for “academics” in the early years across color lines. But these “no excuses” schools are filled predominantly with kids of color and it’s largely because parents of color insist on such education for their kids. Even in Success Academy schools that are more white and affluent you don’t see the same kind of strict “no excuses” control – things are a lot more flexible.

        1. But let’s remember that it’s not irrational. Traditionally kids of color and low income kids across race have fared worse academically on everything from reading level to test scores to graduation rates. There are lots of reasons for this including blatant and structural racism and various disadvantages caused by poverty. However, as a parent it is almost impossible to combat racism and poverty alone. But if you can choose a school where kids who look like yours are actually performing on grade level, whereas kids in the the schools down the street are not, it is logical to choose the former – regardless of school type.

    2. As a college professor, with focus on ECE, I agree 100%. The “play/work” issue is a daunting one to discuss or explain when the racial divide predominates.

    3. You are so right. But, this is not just the Black parent mentality. I also find it in the mentality of the low income population as well. I teach in Head Start and with the never ending accountability, Head Start has shifted to an all academic approach. My parents often ask for homework and worksheets. They want to see the work sheets and letter naming and math learning. I just returned to the pre K environment and it’s awful. A job I use to love is just unbearable at times.
      What I find interesting is higher income families tend to go with the non traditional methods of learning Montessori, Reggio, Waldorf, etc all of which allows the child to develop and teachers to facilitate.
      As a Black teacher, I do have some idea of why low income and Black parents obsess over the education of their children. They are truly convinced that education is the way out of poverty. They however do not have the knowledge about the best practices for young children. My parents too were obsessed with the academic structure of teaching, but back then there was still a balance. I still had play time in the 1st grade! That’s unheard of now.
      The world has changed drastically, but children developmentally are quite the same. Children still enjoy vigorous play, toddlers still enjoy pots and pans, 3’s and 4’s prefer to discover things and yes they still love the sand box and play dough. If learning is conducted around play, learning will happen naturally. I believe early childhood should not be formal school. I should not have to test 3 year olds. Early childhood is not a race or a competition.

    4. As a guy out of his K-12 for some time, but with a masters in ed, I’m surprised at this anecdotal experience. Past perception as a student, and current experience as a student teacher, the perception of all groups of parents is to have less emphasis on education, the educated would-be parents never procreated because of economic reasons.
      As someone involved in higher ed (as a student) for many years, I have seen a shift from targeting traditional students to those at most risk–or as the education-industrial complex sees–easy, naive marks.
      Could it be that Caucasian parents are more aware of the severely diminished pay-out of higher ed and being a professional in general, but this is not ‘news’ yet for the traditionally less educated minority demographic? Having been scammed and my life almost destroyed by many years in graduate education, I can tell you something as obtuse as “worksheets” is not what I would want my pre-school kid doing, beyond, perhaps a 1990s workbook.

    1. You aren’t the only one! If I had kids, I wouldn’t send them to any school where they are forced to spend a large chunk of their day chanting slogans. It’s CREEPY! It’s also one of those things that white kids in white schools (even poor white schools) don’t have to do.

      1. My daughter attends a BPS school, and she sings a school song that basically gets at the same point, with a different musical effect. We said the Pledge of Allegiance and listened to the national anthem every day at my elementary school – same deal. I can totally see not wanting any of those, but Brooke is not unique in pumping up kids at the start of the day with some unity-building.

        And yet, if you actually visit Brooke, you would find that kids chant for about 2-5 minutes per day (with the Brooke creed being about 1 minute and rest being some phonics drills), tops, across 8 hours of school. I would not describe that as a large chunk of the day, but perhaps you might.

  2. This is a terrific article that I will share widely. Thanks, Emily, for seeing through the smokescreen of rote learning and chants for success which have just about nothing to do with real learning in the early years. Thanks too for great descriptions of developmentally sound education–the place where kids gain the deep capacities for real success: thinking deeply, solving problems, imagining and creating, inventing, getting along with others, gaining confidence socially and as learners. And thanks to Dienne for naming exactly a problem we white early childhood educators have. We need stronger alliances, more diverse voices and more trust across groups if we are going to give all young kids the best education possible. And Emily, thanks for naming poverty as an obstacle to that goal. We can’t solve it all in the schools.

  3. Another consideration: parents know the selective elementary schools in Chicago use test scores for admittance and they have long been focused on learning by work sheets and on heavy homework loads.

    Many parents hope that their children will learn enough in pre-k to get into kindergarten at a selective elementary school.

  4. Human beings are extraordinarily intricate. Teaching that rigidly compartmentalizes is more about gimmick than growth. Thank you for a thought-provoking article.

  5. What a great article. The gift of the opportunity
    “to linger purposefully in childhood” rather than be rushed prematurely through it is EXACTLY the gift that privilege provides. Its one of the few privileges we actually COULD replicate for every single child.
    Instead…. Parents choose the polar opposite?

    1. I think that it’s less that parents are actively choosing the no-excuses approach, and more that many decide that is the best among limited options.

      1. The research completely supports your assertions here.

        I think that the majority of parents trust that education administrators would deliver best practice in education. They expect that because it’s what’s happening in schools it’s the ‘right way’ to do things.
        I also think that parenting has for some become a competitive sport and that doesn’t help either.
        It’s not just in the USA but most certainly in Australia as well.
        As a result I am choosing to home educate my four and half year old as I can’t afford an alternative school and public schools are shoving explicit academic teaching down the throats of three and four year olds.
        I am very very nervous about the outcome for the current generation of children going through schools right now and possibly the next one too. I think it will be a long time before we see the scale of the damage we are inflicting. Our Occupational Therapist and Physio are already seeing the physical impact on young children in their practices. I think the mental health and justice systems (already overwhelmed) will be the ones who will see the rest of the damage down the track.
        The research, scant though it is, already exists but Educational Administrators and Government departments continue to bang our kids heads against a wall in the interests of getting ‘further’ sooner. When the very people making the policies don’t understand the concept of developmentally appropriate- I have very little hope and a lot of frustration.

  6. As a Brooke teacher of 8+ years, I wish Emily would have seen us when I started. Our school has come so far since those days – both in terms of positive culture and academic success. There is so much more play now – and art, music, dance and physical activity. And this amount increases each year. However, my point here isn’t to challenge all of what Emily says (because people can have differing opinions about schooling methods), but rather to focus on some areas where I think she doesn’t quite understand the data.

    Emily argues that our methods with our youngest students are affecting them adversely when they get to the upper grades at Brooke and then in high school and college.

    For example, Emily argues that our kids are not succeeding in college. This is misleading on two fronts. First, compared to low-income kids in general, our students are doing far better – with much higher percentages graduating. Second, the Brooke students who are are attending college now never attended the lower grades at Brooke. They entered our school as 5th graders (mainly from Boston Public Schools or parochial schools) and were only with us for 4 grades. In fact, our college graduates were members of our first two classes – when Brooke was a pale shadow of what it is today. Remember, what a star looks like today is actually an image of what it looked like thousands or millions of years ago. It’s impossible to claim that our early ed program is hurting our kids in college because our kids in college never had our early ed program.

    She complains that our students’ SSAT (independent school entrance exam) scores are low. The SSAT reports scores in two ways – first, it reports percentiles compared to all students who took the test. All of our students take this test, whereas across the nation it is generally only the brightest and/or most advantaged kids who take it. It is not surprising, therefore, that our entire class suffers by comparison to a group of the elites. However, what Emily might not know is that the SSAT also projects how students would compare to ALL students (not just actual test takers) nationwide. In this comparison, our students mostly fall in the upper quartile. This both shows the strength of our kids in general, but also reinforces how strong the actual group of test-takers is.

    She also argues that our students can’t gain acceptance into the most rigorous high schools. While some do, there is some truth to this. But much of this is financial. Independent schools don’t have the financial aid funds that the best colleges have, but have tuitions with similarly lofty price tags. Most, then, are reserving their acceptances for paying students and saving their financial aid funds for only the highest achieving low income kids. We always have students who are “wait listed” because the schools is waiting for financial aid money to become available. We do have a number of 8th grade students get into the Boston exam schools each year. However, there are fewer spots available because those schools start in 7th grade (we do have some leave each year after 6th for the exam schools).

    Finally, I will ask Emily to consider that the children she teaches now – in one of the wealthiest school districts in the nation – have massive amounts of privilege that her Brooke students could never dream of. And, what is also true is that they probably have advantages in their home and pre-school lives that are exactly what many low income kids miss out on outside of school too – opportunities to play with creative toys, visit museums, and attend preschools with a focus on hands-on and creative play. But many of those same kids are also probably reading or almost reading before they get to school , and also are counting whizzes and know about science and social studies and art too. They learn this stuff outside of school – which allows wealthy schools to focus less on those academics and more on the soft skills which she (and I) believe are so crucial. [And if they don’t – or even if they do but not well enough – there’s always Kumon or other tutors.] I guess the question is how do you balance those things in the limited amount of time we have with them – even with extended days and years. I think Brooke is working on finding that balance – but we’re going to have to wait a little while longer than Emily claims to see the results of our strategies.

    1. Mathteacher,
      Shouldn’t all children be offered an opportunity to develop appropriately? And should not this be the focus of education policy?
      Your argument is that disadvantaged children should be educated inappropriately – this you call “balance.”

  7. Paul, thank you for your thoughtful response, and I think there’s a lot of value in what you say. I have also heard from other teachers that Brooke has improved tremendously on all fronts since it first opened, and I hope it continues on the trajectory of becoming increasingly humane, attentive to social-emotional needs, and focused on ways to develop happy, creative, independent people (who are also very academically capable.)

    Regarding high school data, you have more information (both in terms of experience and in terms of data) than I do. But I do wonder why Brooke students, who in aggregate score at the highest levels in the state, are not admitted in much larger numbers to (free) public exam schools (in 7th grade or in 9th.) This issue is more relevant to my last article, but these discrepancies make me wonder why the school doesn’t teach to these tests rather than (or in addition to) state standardized tests (which serve no purpose for the students themselves, but mean everything for administrators. )

    Also, you did not address the fact that many students, once in high school, do very poorly.

    Regarding college, there are infinite variables that might explain why Brooke alumni might struggle to graduate— low-income students everywhere struggle to graduate from college— and I also think that, on some level, it is not reasonable to credit (or discredit) a school that only goes to eighth grade for the college graduation rates of its alumni. What an elementary/middle school is responsible for, though, is cultivating the strong personal, intellectual, and creative habits of its students while they are in its care, and, as I argue in my article, I think that Brooke still has a way to go in this arena. (Also, your point about the long-term struggles of students who attended Brooke when it was focused even less on developing these habits— and how you suspect that today’s graduates, who are taught with more holistic goals in mind, will do even better— seems to support my point: that students for whom these skills are not cultivated early face bleak prospects as they get older.) Your point about the school’s oldest alumni entering after the early grades is a fair one.

    I am basing the questions I’m asking in this piece not just on my current school, but on my experiences teaching many different populations in many different settings (in addition to a lot of research.)

    I think Brooke does a tremendous amount exceptionally well, and don’t want to underplay that. I do think, though, that its “whole child” approach has— to borrow a phrase Brooke loves— “tremendous room for growth.”

    1. Re: high school admissions: Exam school admission is not just based on test scores, but rather a 50-50 split between test scores and GPA. I think GPA sinks a lot of kids who are borderline, as the grading in middle school is pretty tough. And of course there are the kids who test well and have mediocre grades because of effort and the kids who have lousy testing skills but have decent grades. As to why we don’t prep kids for the ISEE and SSAT more (and we definitely do some), I think to some extent it’s the same reason why high school classes don’t align to comparable tests in high school like the ACT and SAT (though this stands to change – SAT will aligned with Common Core – which should help make things much more purposeful and unified across all tests). Also, this may change as our kids get better at taking timed tests – of which MCAS were not and PARCC is.

      re: high school success – agreed. we ‘re not thrilled by their success rates and we continue to try to figure out why those that succeed do so, and why others do not. We only have our first couple of classes of kids who went all the way through Brooke in high school now, so we’ll see how later classes do and if it improves. I can tell you for sure that our model continues to improve, so we hope to see improvements in high school too.

  8. I found myself thinking about the Monarch butterflies my kids all got to watch emerge from the chrysalis when they were in kindergarten. I can’t remember if it was a video or a picture book that the teacher read about a child “helping” the butterfly to emerge and how because of that help its wings never unfolded properly.

  9. Emily,

    I just found this article from a graduate of one of Washington, D.C.’s most celebrated charter schools.

    Now that he’s attending college, this student is able to see the differences in the education he received versus that of his classmates at Georgetown, those folks who attended private schools and top-notch public schools.

    He highlights the deficiencies of the education
    of his charter school education: (CAPITALS are mine)

    DARRYL ROBINSON: “THE GAP between what I can do and what my college classmates are capable of IS ENORMOUS. This goes beyond knowing calculus or world history, subjects that I didn’t learn in high school but that my peers here mastered long ago. MY FORMER TEACHERS SIMPLY DID NOT PUS ME TO THINK PAST A BASIC LEVEL, TO APPLY CONCEPTS, TO MOVE BEYOND MEMORIZING facts and figures.

    “Since the third grade, MY TEACHERS told me I was exceptional, but NEVER PUSHED ME TO THINK FOR MYSELF. And when I did excel, they didn’t trust that I’d done the hard work. They assumed I was cheating. Now, only 10 miles from those teachers and schools where I was considered a standout, I’ve had to work double-time just to keep up.

    “I first noticed the GAP BETWEEN ME AND MY CLASSMATES after my first writing assignment at Georgetown. In an English class to help prepare incoming freshmen, WE WERE ASKED TO ANALYZE THE MAIN CHARACTER’S DEVELOPMENT in ‘Persepolis,’ a graphic memoir about growing up in Tehran during the Iranian revolution. I thought it was an easy assignment. Everyone’s papers were distributed to the class, and it was immediately obvious how MINE FELL SHORT: I MERELY SUMMARIZED THE BOOK WITHOUT MAKING ANY REAL ARGUMENT. I got a D-minus.


    “OTHER GEORGETOWN FRESHMEN from better schools had been trained to form original, concise thoughts within a breath, to FOCUS LESS ON REMEMBERING EVERY PIECE OF INFORMATION, word for word, AND MORE ON FORMING INDEPENDENT IDEAS.

    “(on the other hand) I WAS NOT. I COULD MEMORIZE FACTS AND FIGURES, BUT I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO THINK FOR MYSELF. Now, in an attempt to think deeper, I sometimes overthink myself into silence.”
    It goes on from there. I won’t clog up this message board any furthere. Read the rest here:

    1. Hi Jack,
      Thank you so much for posting this; what a dispiriting article.
      However, I don’t think that this student’s experience is comparable to those at the school I discuss in my article, which teaches higher-order thinking skills in a sophisticated way. My former school does not accept simple summarizing, memorization, or fact regurgitation. I suspect that a student from my prior school might struggle at a place like Georgetown not because they don’t have a solid academic foundation (at least K-8), but because they may be weaker in the social-emotional, personal, and metacognitive skills that enable young adults to succeed independently in a setting in which they are not constantly told what to do.

    2. I think Emily would agree with me that Brooke is very much not like the school described in that article. Way less focus on memorization and way more on problem-solving, thesis creation and defense, class discussion, and conceptual learning. Plus, our 8th graders read Persepolis, so there’s that.

  10. Emily, this is very interesting read, thanks for sharing your research! You recommend a more developmentally appropriate program, as an expecting father, I’m eager to hear your thoughts as to what sorts of activities you would prefer that would allow a child to enjoy his/her childhood while enabling them to succeed when older.

  11. […] Children’s Future Success? Hillary Clinton Whiffs on Reforming Wall Street’s Rating Agencies All I Really Need to Know I (Should Have) Learned in Kindergarten Donald Trump’s despotic fantasies: Here’s what the world would look like if he were president […]

  12. I think this is an interesting post since it combines two completely different issues into one post. But it doesn’t really address combining the two points.

    On one hand, there’s the issue of breaking the cycle of poverty that dominates the discussion around our educational and social failures to progress in this country. Improved schools are seen as the best hope for breaking this cycle. Early disciplined intervention by these schools is now being tried on a broad scale, maybe it will work. Maybe we should also be trying play-based elementary charter schools but I don’t see the entrepreneurs lining up to try that approach and I’m not sure how successful they’d be at recruiting students since it’s a tricky approach to market. Also, money is a huge issues and it’s not clear to me whether it’s more expensive per student.

    In rich well educated kids, there’s plenty of educational success but too little play and social development which creates problems. These are typically “first world problems” which I won’t try to compare with the problems of the deep poverty populations of being unemployable and jail-bound. But they are problems.

    Montessori’s history is an interesting foil for this discussion. She created her system for the toughest kids in society but in the US, Montessori has been most successful among the well educated and elites. It is a form of restructuring childhood and education.

    Does the “more-play” approach, primarily popular in the elite in the US, have the potential to cross over and succeed with the deeply impoverished parts of our society?
    My personal opinion is that it probably does have potential but that it’s not the main question. The main question is the deep poverty schools that I know is providing enough social services so the kids have a stable learning opportunity. These kids needs free lunches and breakfasts. Many need help with basics of clothes and hygiene. There’s mental health issues. And while I see many elementary schools that get kids off to good starts in the poor neighborhoods, I see a lot less high and middle schools.

    My bottom line. I like the question that is raised, would this other approach work for the poor that these charters are addressing? I don’t see why it wouldn’t….

Comments are closed.