Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Editorial: The real priority on kindergarten

In today's rambling, apparently unedited editorial, it's difficult to tease out what the unnamed Courier editor is trying to say. He details the costs to school districts of the retraction of recently instituted funding for all-day K, and how they're allowing parents to make up the shortfall to keep the program going. (He doesn't mention that in relying on this sort of thing in cutting the budget, the Legislature has simply pushed the costs back onto taxpayers by other means than direct taxation.)

After pointing out the standards that kids are expected to meet for entering the first primary grade, he concludes that "the question we should be asking" is "are we putting too much pressure on them? Is childhood over way too soon?" and I have to wonder what planet the editor is inhabiting. Does he really think that all the kids growing up unsocialized and prepared only to be perpetual teenagers aren't getting enough of childhood? Yikes. Our entire society seems dedicated to never getting past adolescence, and it's getting worse, not better.

The idea that education is somehow separate from childhood is ridiculous. Education is the raw essence of childhood -- it's the whole point. Yes, there are a lot of important experiences that our factory-style education model does not usually provide for children, but that's not to say we couldn't be doing a lot better with it. That takes imagination, vision, dedicated professionals and the sort of serious funding that most "conservatives" won't countenance.

What would the editor prefer to early childhood education -- more TV? More baby-warehouse daycare with hordes of other kids? Or is the core idea, once again, forcing mothers out of the workplace and into barefoot-and-pregnant mode, where so many "conservatives" think they truly belong?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't always agree with your courier complaints, but we share common ground on this one. The editorial should have pointed out that at $10 a day, it's still likely cheaper than traditional daycare or "sitter." and the last sentence is simply silly. One thing that gets me in this debate is the people looking to cut kinder, NEVER take the time to see what a hard working teacher does in the classroom. The conservative right gets what it wants here but they should realize that our "future" leaders of America will begin eating glue and have wonderful jobs at Circle K waiting for them in later years because this state is taking "the pressure" off them.