In 2012, Chicago mayor Rham Emanuel announced that preschool in Chicago was in for a change. The city of Chicago planned to add preschool slots annually, starting with 2,000 that year. The goal of the additions was to help more children get access to quality preschool in Chicago. Pre-k programs compete with one another for a portion of the federal funding. While critics argued that the plan is likely to continue to lower teacher wages and increase test-driven programs, the mayor assured Chicago that his ultimate goal was to make preschool in Chicago more available to more children.
Despite the initiative for added slots in preschool in Chicago, the competition to land the best program (and for many parents, the earliest) remains higher than ever. In the wealthier parts of Chicago, think neighborhoods like Hyde Park and Lincoln Park, sending a child to preschool is thought of as the fast track to Ivy League. Parents are sure that sending their little ones to the most expensive, highest ranked, competitive preschool will guarantee them academic success in later years.
Then, there are those who take on the most aggressive stance of all: redshirting kindergarten. Redshirting is when parents purposely give their children a late start to kindergarten in the hopes that being older and more mature than their classmates will give them a foot up in academic success. Many attribute it to the book the Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. The book highlights a famous study where hockey players with later birthdays excelled in their skills on the ice, being more mature than younger players.
What do you do if you are interested in sending your little one to preschool, but you’re not eager to join the intense preschool competition or redshirt your little one? Visit Mom Trusted, where we can help you find an affordable (or the best of the best) preschool.
-“Emanuel rolls out competitive preschool funding, adds charters to mix” Catalyst Chicago: http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/2012/08/03/20312/emanuel-rolls-out-competitive-preschool-funding-adds-charters-mix
-“Preschool in Chicago: Why I’m Saying ‘Forget It’” Neighborhood Parents Network: http://www.npnparents.org/posts/219,preschool-in-chicago-why-i-m-saying-forget-it
-“Redshirting” kindergarten in Chicago-area schools” Chicago Parent: http://www.chicagoparent.com/magazines/chicago-parent/2011-june/features/redshirting-kindergarten
-“The Littlest Redshirts Sit Out in Kindergarten” New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/fashion/22Cultural.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
-“Mayor Emanuel’s Preschool Plan” Teachers Union: http://www.ctunet.com/blog/mayor-emanuels-pre-school-plan
-Photo courtesy of tiverylucky/freedigitalphotos.net
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