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What About Full-Day Kindergarten?

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards may be putting the cart before the horse -- or, in education lingo -- the preschooler before the kindergartner.

While his education plan unveiled last week focuses on reforming the No Child Left Behind Act, giving incentive pay to teachers in high-poverty schools, and bringing federally funded preschool to more 4-year-olds, his proposal didn't address whether 5-year-olds should spend all day in kindergarten.

The Reno Gazette-Journal in Nevada took note of this and asked Edwards in a telephone interview about whether he supported full-day kindergarten. His response was perplexing:

"Let me think about that," Edwards told the newspaper for a story posted today. "That is the first time I've literally ever been asked that question. What you're saying is in Nevada there's no full-day kindergarten? Is there state kindergarten?"

No, in fact, there's no full-day kindergarten in about 41 states, according to a 2005 report by the Education Commission of the States. Edwards lives in one of the nine states with full-day kindergarten—North Carolina.

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