Education is suffering. That shouldn't be news to anyone. Everyone is losing out. It is currently a lose-lose situation. Kindergarteners are expected to know how to read by the end of the school year!! When you were in Kindergarten, were you reading by the year's end? Of course some of you were. But there are many that don't even have one inkling of interest in letters or learning their sounds for that matter. Unfortunately, most schools have to shove this stuff down the kids' throats. My school doesn't fall within that bracket. We still do things only if they are developmentally appropriate. But, if a child is going to attempt to transfer to another school, it is usually advised that the parents wait until after 2nd grade. I guess by that point, a student from our school will be performing just like any other 2nd grader.
Sure the government wants its citizens to be able to compete with the rest of the world but what about being a kid? The pendulum is swinging much too quickly if you ask me.