Transitional Kindergarten is controversial in Washington State to anyone providing early education. It is completely supported by the Governor and many public school districts despite the evidence in California that TK programs are directly responsible for closing down existing early ed programs, limiting options for parents, and funneling children into large institutions, some of which are ill-equipped for the work.
The Transition to Kindergarten bill tries to hold accountable public schools that want to open up their Kindergarten classes for younger students. Advocates supporting the T to K bill have asked for:
Standards and oversight. Teachers with a firm grounding in early childhood development utilizing developmentally appropriate curricula and pedagogy. A safe environment for four-year-olds. And parity in ratios and class sizes consistent with child safety standards.
Mandatory coordination and collaboration with other early learning providers. This ensures that children are getting the education and services they need where they need them.
Planning and prioritization. A guarantee that the state’s limited dollars are focused on children who lack access to quality early learning.
WFIS has mixed feelings about TK and will continue to discuss its perspective at the Zoom meetings on Thursdays.