At a Jan. 20 League of Women Voters forum on Full Day Kindergarten, President of the Radnor Township Education Association David Wood said something that has ignited even more debate on the plan to implement full-day kindergarten in Radnor’s schools in September.
Wood told the crowd that he was concerned with the political risk that full day kindergarten could be overturned by a future School Board its implementation were delayed.
So, was Wood saying that politics is the reason for the implementation of the program, despite major space issues in Radnor’s elementary schools?
“I did say that one of the reasons for doing it this year is that the longer it gets delayed the more likely it will be delayed or not implemented due to turnover on the board,” Wood responded to Radnor Patch. “This is clearly not the only reason but I am sure it is having an impact.”
Politics aside, Wood said that teachers in Radnor support the implementation as soon as possible “because we believe it is value added for students.”
He said that kindergarten teachers think that the curriculum of kindergarten require a full day.
“Students can’t complete the curriculum during the given time,” he said. “With Common Core and an increase in testing and mandates, they can’t finish what they have to finish in a half day.”
The teachers’ union has a representative council with representatives from every school in Radnor. “There’s consensus at representative council that we should move forward to support our elementary school program,” he said.
Wood said there are definitely going to be growing pains in implementation—space-wise, budget-wise and other wise.
“No matter what year it occurs in it’s going to be a difficult decision.
I worry about making sure the curriculum is what we want, that we’re using time efficiently and getting the most out of the students attending,” he said. “It’s an expense on the district side and we have to make sure it’s doing what it needs to do.”
In the end, Wood said it would be naïve to think there are no politics involved in this issue—or on the School Board as a whole. But, he said, in a few years opponents of immediate implementation may find that it was a good thing after all.