There are gigantic gaps in elementary education when the emphasis on academics is pushed down to the lower grades. Young children need time to develop skills that are a crucial part of the foundation of a solid education, and that time has been taken away. You’re educating children to know the life cycle of a plant in the 1stgrade, when they haven’t learned how to tie their shoes or button their own pants after using the restroom. Maybe the focus should be on teaching them how to learn, instead of on what to learn.
But as a child grows, schools need to scale back the confines of the experience while still providing that safety net (increasingly out of sight). Schools also need to set the bar for achievement in a manner that promotes rigor without being prescriptive of method. After all, the adult world increasingly demands excellence while providing less and less of a road map for success.