Sarah Gonser has a New York Times article today: Kindergarten ‘Redshirting’ Gets Tougher in N.Y.C., With Repercussions . The article confuses me, because holding your child back for public school kindergarten in NYC has always been extremely difficult. It's only in NYC suburbs and in private schools where parents can easily hold their kids back.
According to Gonser:
Starting this fall, children will be expected to start kindergarten or first grade in keeping with their birth year. Kindergarten, which had been considered optional, is now mandatory, although parents can home school their children or send them to a private school for the year. Children with birthdays in the kindergarten range who are not enrolled in public kindergarten will still be expected to enroll in first grade the next year.
Gonser addresses an ongoing, key point: kindergarten is much tougher than it used to be, and not every child is developmentally ready, especially if the child has a fall birthday close to the December 31st deadline.
Interestingly, some of my private school consulting clients send their children to NYC public school kindergarten for a year, and then work with me to apply to private school kindergarten. And yes, the NYC private schools like a repeater, because clearly the child can handle kindergarten.
One interesting question: public elementary schools have not traditionally been so strict with the grade placement of kids switching in from private school. I wonder if some families will choose to keep their children in ongoing private school for a few years and then switch back as a way to redshirt a few years down the line.