The Post Register editorial board recently endorsed Elizabeth Cogliati, a self-proclaimed progressive, for the school board in Idaho Falls District 91. They stated that their endorsement was in part because she is in favor of all-day kindergarten. They state that studies show that all-day kindergarten helps reduce achievement gaps in education.

This is true, but the studies also show that this achievement is short-lived. Researchers have found that by the third grade, children who were enrolled in all-day kindergarten and those in half-day are equal academically, according to Siebersma, Gates, & Colich, 2014. Additionally, some research also bears out that some students can be hurt by all-day kindergarten, according to Bernstein, 2018. The fact that the state of Idaho does not even require children to start school until first grade should be an indicator of this fact. If, as the Post Register says, all-day kindergarten helps working families, then let’s talk about paying for all-day daycare, not sending our children to school all day too early. Let’s remember that the role of the school is to provide meaningful education to our children, not to babysit them.

Links to full articles containing the research cited above can be found on my Facebook page at "Jacob for 91."

Jacob Johnson

Idaho Falls