Education: Crippling the Young?

One of the major trends in U.S. education during the past decade has been to start children in school at younger and younger ages. Wilson Riles, California's state superintendent of schools, wants to enroll new students when they turn four; New York State's board of regents recommends the age of three. At this point, some 40% of all three-to five-year-olds spend part of their day in classrooms, ranging from expensive private nursery schools to Head Start programs for the poor.

Now a heretical study argues that early schooling can be disastrous: "Sending four-year-olds off to school results in far more harm...