Universal Preschool Commentary
We've assembled provocative opinion and commentary on the value, or lack thereof,
of universal preschool and the importance of parental involvement in early childhood
development. Whether you agree or not, we hope this section will at least make you
scratch your head and say, "hmmmmm..."
The Secret, Dirty Life of a Non-Preschool Student
When advocates of universal preschool imply that a child's success in the world depends on a year of listening and learning at preschool, it's time to set the record straight.
I have a confession to make: I never went to preschool. Yes, it's true. While other kids stacked blocks or lay in squishy beanbags, I was in the kitchen picking rocks out of piles of dried black beans with my mom. The worst part is, my secret is no longer safe with me. Now, thanks to the dubious claims of a campaign for universal preschool in California, I will have to admit to the world that while preschoolers were napping on plastic mats and drinking milk out of Dixie cups, I was taking in a half-hour of "Sesame Street" and digging up earthworms after a good rain with my brother. It's horrible, I know.
December 21, 2005
[More Results from New America Media]
Puffed up promise of preschool
If preschool is a requirement for success, how did so many of us succeed without it? And why are so many students today failing with it?
Robert Fulghum's bestseller All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten recounts the life lessons we carry from our early years. So it is with learning the ABCs: All Children Really Need to Know They Can Learn in Kindergarten. No preschool required. Nevertheless, kids are skipping off to class earlier and earlier. If the average mother in past generations felt pressure to be home with her children, the average mother today feels pressure to send her toddlers to preschool.
December 20, 2005
[More Results from The Arizona Republic [Free Subscription Required]]
Dawn to dusk care plan for schools
All children under 14 in England will be offered "dawn to dusk" care under a radical extension of the current school day, which the government hopes will become known in the education lexicon as "Kelly hours".
But today's announcement by the education secretary, Ruth Kelly, is likely to be overshadowed by questions from teachers' leaders about how the so-called extended schools - open from 8am to 6pm - will be funded, and warnings of the bureaucracy involved.
June 13, 2005
[More Results from Guardian Unlimited (UK)]
Popping Pills in Preschool
No one flinched when a child psychiatrist told a conference of parents and counselors that she had prescribed antidepressants to children as young as 3-1/2.
Audience members at the San Diego conference, after all, were quite familiar with the concept of preschoolers on Prozac. Many of the parents in the audience have children who suffer from a debilitating form of shyness called selective mutism, one of a handful of mental disorders thought to strike children younger than 6.
February 5, 2005
[More Results from Wired News]
Commentary on Baby Ed
As a pediatrician, a mother of three, and a long-time researcher of children's issues, I must respectfully, but vehemently disagree with Mr. Rolnick and your editorial about the value of early childhood programs.
Scholars debate the social gains of the programs Mr. Rolnick praises as "fall[ing] short of statistical significance," and even if they are significant, require so much in the way of funding and personnel, that they could not realistically be reproduced on a massive scale.
October 21, 2003
[More Results from Ed Watch]