GET TO WORK!….Prof B, now a fellow resident of the Golden State, visits her son’s classroom:

My volunteer visit to Mrs. Smith’s classroom made it clear to me that the new curriculum is *way* more demanding than elementary school was back when I was a kid….

I’ve talked to several different teacher acquaintances (including my dad and my aunt’s best friend, both now retired), and they all say the same thing: parents are tending to wait to start kids, especially boys, in kindergarten because nowadays schools ? at least, the “high-performing” ones, aka the schools whose kids primarily come from the educated middle and upper middle classes ? really do seem to prefer kids to be beginning reading by the time they finish kindergarten and reading more or less fluently in first grade.

Hmmm. That’s the same thing Linda Williamson said a few months ago. Is this because teachers prefer older kids? Because school districts want kids who are likely to score better on standardized tests, thus gaming the NCLB testing regimen? Because parents hold off a year in hopes that their kid will be king of the hill among a bunch of younger kindergartners? Because kindergarten as we used to know it doesn’t really exist anymore? All of the above?

I dunno. Is this true in other states, or just California? Comments?

POSTSCRIPT: And what’s up with this “Cali” stuff? Is that what East Coasters call California?

UPDATE: Apparently “Cali” comes from the 1988 LL Cool J song, “Going to Cali.” Lyrics here. It will probably surprise no one that I had never heard of this, but I still have a question: Is it an East Coast thing? If it comes from the song lyric, then why?