While our nation’s schools have long been criticized for failing to impart practical skills, one Long Island kindergarten class just got a harsh dose of reality.

Parents of students at Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, N.Y., were outraged to discover that an annual year-end play had been cancelled because the school is refocusing to equip its 5- and 6-year-olds “for college and career[s] with valuable lifelong skills,” according to school officials.

The annual show was to be scheduled for May 14 and 15.

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“The demands of the 21st century are changing schools,” wrote principal Ellen Best-Laimit in a letter to parents. “Although the movement towards more rigorous learning standards has been in the national news for more than a decade, the changing face of education is beginning to feel unsettling for some people.”

Unsettling, indeed. An online petition against the cancellation has already garnered 1,400 signatures, according to the New York Post.

Discussion over financial literacy has hit fever pitch these last few years, and even President Obama is making strides to equip young children with business literacy.

The White House has proclaimed April National Financial Capability Month and established an advisory council, whose chair, John Rogers, stated, “We think we can get young people started as early as first grade.”

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