Colorado Dems ponder universal preschool
I received a beginning-of-legislative-session e-mail from Andrew Romanoff, the Democratic Speaker of the House in the Colorado legislature.
His very first proposal outlined in the e-mail is this:
1. Invest in early childhood education. Every child should be able to start first grade ready to learn. There’s no doubt about it: high-quality preschool and full-day kindergarten improve student performance, reduce dropout rates, and make it much more likely for children to fulfill their potential.
Here is my e-mail to Speaker Romanoff in response:
Dear Speaker Romanoff,
Although there is precious little that I agree with you about, I would like to make special mention of the danger of increasing government's educational role to pre-school or expanded kindergarten.
There is plenty of evidence that neither will help Colorado's kids...but at least it will be very expensive.
I understand that the Democrats must do everything possible to help the CEA increase its membership so that it can take in more dues money and then pass it back along to the Democrats in a circle of vote-buying. I also understand that the public is very skeptical of public school unions, so a back-door through creating government pre-schools is clever strategy on your part. But the political realities aside, doing this at the expense of our kids' futures is shameful. "Universal" pre-school and more kindergarten falls precisely into this category.
Here's one good quote on the subject, by Darcy Olsen: "History is telling. Since 1965, enrollment of four-year-olds in early education programs has increased from 16 to 66 percent, yet test scores are virtually unchanged. However, U.S. students routinely outperform their international peers in the early years, indicating that American students are well served by a flexible approach to early education where parents choose the setting, including home care, that is best for their children.
While U.S. children are "A" students in fourth grade, they are "D" students by 12th grade. "The good news is America's early education system is among the best in the world. The bad news is the secondary system is among the worst. There are solutions, but trading sippy cups for school desks is not one of them," Olsen said."
For your primary education, I would refer you to a few articles and other documents by experts on the subject. I hope you take the time to read a few of them, and then stay far away from trying to impose your view of proper early childhood education on my new child.
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