Red shirting in schools mostly benefiting only rich, white
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 21:10
"My five-year-old daughter has opera lessons Wednesday nights, gymnastics practice every Monday and Friday, and Algebra tutoring every Tuesday and Thursday. Oh, I can keep her back an extra year you say? We can add golf lessons into her schedule too!”
Yes, if you haven’t heard, parents now have the option to hold their children back from starting school one year later in order to give them an advantage over younger kids in the class. My problem with this option is that it mostly benefits white, male children of the rich.
A research study executed by the National Center For Education Statistics in February 2000 reported placing 20,000 children in kindergarten in the fall of 1998. From their results, they concluded that redshirting “raises the child’s academic achievement (math, reading, general knowledge) and conduct on par with or above that of younger classmates.”
I mean, seriously? How competitive do we have to be? Now we’re instilling our children to be competitive little hounds while they’re still in their Huggies Pull-Ups? Not all children have the luxury of participating this movement. Those that have the opportunity to be held back an extra year to develop into bigger and smarter “leaders” of their class are disproportionately white, males students who come from families that are wealthy.
I think this is totally wrong. Minorities already have it hard enough, and with all this practice are relegated to being the smallest and most educationally inferior students in the class because their birthdays fall short of Thanksgiving and they’re in a room full of white wealthy children who learned the alphabet in three different languages during their extra year off of school.
Parents are becoming so competitive that they just don’t know when to stop. This practice of ‘red-shirting’ children has dated back to the early 1970s, and the number of students that are held back has tripled since then. Oh, I wonder if these attention and success thirsting parents are the same ones that keep Dance Moms on the air. It’s really disgusting and it’s not even really needed for the children in our generation today.
There are so many accelerated learning programs that you can put your children through. One example is “Your Baby Can Read,” a program that starts your offspring off before they can even sit up by themselves. There are infants as young as 10 months reading words on flash cards that say ‘clap,’ and then clapping their hands together. The program advertises 18-month-old babies reading books with the inflection in their voice as if they know what they’re really reading about, and they do!
Why do we need to have something like ‘red-shirting’ your kid in place when you have programs like this? It is just a way for parents to suck all of the fun out of their children actually being kids and making them into lean, mean, perfect machines. They don’t exist and they never will exist. Instead, they will be pushed so hard into being perfect and striving to make their parents proud with every little thing that they will end up malfunctioning and turning to destructive behavior.
Parents shouldn’t continue to jump the gun on the less fortunate by sacrificing their own blood and bones into the furious rapture of accelerated and very competitive success. Parents should always guide their children to doing better for themselves, but to involuntarily put them into this higher standard of learning is just setting them up for a hectic life in the long run.
My birthday is two days before Christmas and I’ve always been the youngest in my class. Yes, it did suck, but I adjusted; I’ve always been praised for my maturity at my age and I think I turned out fine. Other kids will too.