By Cynthia Tucker

High-Quality Early Education Should Be A No-Brainer

February 23, 2013 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad 43 Comments A+ / A-
High-Quality Early Education Should Be A No-Brainer

My 4-year-old can’t read yet, but she likes to pretend that she can. She grabs a treasured storybook and, using pictures as a guide, repeats the lines she remembers: “Mr. McGregor said, ‘Stop, thief!'” The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a favorite of hers.

She’ll read soon enough — probably before she starts first grade — because she is growing up in a home that confers several advantages: Her mother is middle class and college-educated; her household is full of books; her caregivers, including her grandmother, read to her and enjoy reading for their own pleasure. Those characteristics of my daughter’s early childhood nearly guarantee her a head start.

Across the country, affluent, well-educated parents know those traits boost children’s achievement, which is why they spend time, money and effort making sure that their little ones get the educational stimuli that experts insist is critical in the first few years of life. Middle-class preschoolers go to “story time,” to museums, to zoos and aquariums, to well-funded preschools with small classes and skilled teachers.

Unfortunately, children from less-affluent households don’t usually get the same attention, the same “quality time,” the same expensive enrichment opportunities. (Let’s not get caught up in blaming single mothers. I’m one. It’s about financial resources, not family structure.) That’s why they enter first grade behind their affluent classmates and, without educational intervention, will likely fall further and further behind.

Given that economists have long argued that better-educated workers are the key to a prosperous future, it’s imperative that states start providing free, high-quality preschool programs to children from poor and working-class families. So why isn’t there broad political support for President Obama’s plan to ramp up high-quality preschool education?

The answer is pretty simple, and it has nothing to do with research on the efficacy of preschool programs, or the budget deficit, or the antediluvian worries of right-wingers who believe youngsters should be home-schooled. One overriding factor limits enthusiasm for preschool education: 4-year-olds don’t vote.

Unfortunately, even the parents of poor 4-year-olds have spotty voting records. As a result, preschoolers from less affluent homes don’t get the educational boost they need to compete with their more fortunate counterparts.

Decades of research have proved that high-quality pre-kindergarten classes work. Programs, such as Head Start, that haven’t stood up as well to long-term studies are inconsistent in quality. By contrast, those programs that hire well-educated teachers and put them in well-equipped classrooms with small groups of children show excellent results.

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High-Quality Early Education Should Be A No-Brainer Reviewed by on . My 4-year-old can't read yet, but she likes to pretend that she can. She grabs a treasured storybook and, using pictures as a guide, repeats the lines she remem My 4-year-old can't read yet, but she likes to pretend that she can. She grabs a treasured storybook and, using pictures as a guide, repeats the lines she remem Rating:

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Comments

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    I don’t think too of an early-age education is doing our kids any good. Not to mention, I’ve read this causes too much stress and emotional strain that these kids can’t fully handle. No wonder so many kids these days get put on Psychotropic Medication and at such an early age.

    What are we trying to do, turn these kids into Robotons to “serve” our Corporations?

    Kids need to remain kids for a long as possible BEFORE we brainwash them.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      Unfortunately, your comment about early-age education not doing our kids any good isn’t supported by numerous studies. Studies have shown that kids that attend pre-school or pre-kindergarten classes are more successful in school and acquire improved social skills – not only in their ability to interact better with kids their own age, but also to interact better with adults. and their earlier start in education allows teachers to assess and correct problems that some children have with learning. Their improved social skills have also been shown to carry them better into aldulthood, even with having them experience far fewer social problems into their adult years; including lower rates of them becoming involved in social activites which lead them into drug programs or jail.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        Yea, they’ll get old before their time too. Nothing like being an old fart at 10.

        Pure Robotons………….

    • whodatbob

      Most of the stress and emotional strain is usually caused by parents expecting too much from their child. They want their child too be the best, not seek his/her own level. program not the educators. Children learn some life skills as well as educational skills.

      As to the Roboton comment. School systems have been fighting Corporate America for years on this issue. Public Schools strive to send well educated students able to think on their own. Big Corp. wants schools to send only grads with the exact skills currently needed, Robotons.

      Brainwashed, if you think exposing students to different ideas and philosiphies, then yes. But you would be wrong.

      Teaching students to be Robotons is brainwashing!

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        I love the way you phrased your response.

        Right on the mark:)

  • nobsartist

    Yes but we need more f-22’s and f-35’s that cant fly and then more aircraft carriers.

    Obama thinks he is doing America a big favor when he gives Oregon 1.9 Billion for medicare but then blows 10 times that on ONE aircraft carrier.

    Obama is the best thing the military/ industrialist society ever had, except bush.

    • hilandar1000

      Once more, you are embarrassing yourself with your lack of knowledge. Obama’s rate of growth in spending is the lowest since Eisenhower — according to Forbes, Marketwatch, and the CBO. The highest growth in spending was under Reagan. Obama’s spending rate is even much lower than that of Clinton — which was the next lowest rate of spending. Obama cannot GIVE anything to anyone — the budget is set by Congress. By far, the highest rate of growth in spending during the Obama years was the first year of the Obama presidency, and that budget had been set by the previous congress before Obama ever took office. You may not like either the Republican or the Democratic party, but your posts like this one which is not based on facts is helping the Republican party in spreading the lies — which they are so good at doing already.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      Explain to me please how Obama is allowing CONGRESS to grant permission to the Pentagon to build an aircraft carrier??? Are you that stupid about the way our government works to not realize that the president HAS ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL, OTHER THAN VETOING AN ENTIRE BUDGET PACKAGE, about what congress approves in spending for the Pentagon??? I knew you were clueless, but you’re really outdoing yourself these days and proving to be stupider than even I thought!!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      And just to point out one more thing to you, do you even realize that in his first few months in office, Obama began a ‘war on fraud in the defense industry? Do a search on that phrase and read the article by Tom Galagher of Pepper Hamilton, LLC for some examples of the many fraud cases that the Obama administration has brought against contractors in the defense industry trying to defraud the government- remember, starting when he first took office. Not only has President Obama NEVER authorized the Pentagon to build ANTHING specifically, other than by possibly approving a budget in total, his administration over the past 4 years has recovered more fraudulently charged monies from defense industry contractors than all the presidents in office during the past 20-30 years – billions of dollars. And his administration has done something very similar in waging a war against fraud in the healthcare sector too. You need to smarten up quite a bit and do a little research before as hilandar points out – your rants do nothing but support the lies and distortions of the GOP !

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Your first sentence is totally correct.

      Your second and last sentences are way off the mark.

      He has no choice in what money is spent on what, Congress does that. All he can do is either approve a budget in whole or veto it in whole.

      It would be nice if he had the total power of Line Item Veto. I think he’d cut a lot of money out of military spending if he could.

      Start cutting military spending too far back, that will increase our unemployment figure even worse than it is and put quite a few companies out of business which rely on military contracts.

      The one biggest problem this country has never dealt with is that our country, as a whole, has never prospered under a “peace-orientated economy”. WAR drives our economy. War and our military complex is sucking severely needed monies out of areas in our economy which would be used much more effectively such as education for one and helping people meet their basic human needs.

      Throughout the entire history of this country, there has never been a generation that didn’t experience either;

      Wars
      British American War, The Spanish American War, World War 1, World War 2, The Korean War (the forgotten war), The Viet Nam War, The Iraq War, The Afgestan War.

      The Civil War
      Lucky for us, only 1 so far.

      Police action overseas
      Way too many to mention.

      AND, who knows how many more things this country has been involved with that we DON’T know about that are hidden in secret classified documents that we only learn about a hundred years later.

      Putting it bluntly, this county loves war and loves killing. We LOVE enemies externally as well as internally (please notice the soaring gun sales). If there isn’t an enemy available at the moment, one way or the other, this country will create one out of thin air.

      • nobsartist

        I find it funny that while big business exported our manufacturing jobs to china, our government started the new employment plan of employing millions in defense.

        Once they got that rolling, it was easy to create another “crisis” as an excuse to lower wages and then break the unions.

        Now we have no tax revenue from those that lost jobs due to our new welfare plan for millionaires, plus big business was able to hold politicians feet to the fire for huge tax breaks.

        It is nice that Obama was so concerned about the auto companies and was gracious enough to give them no tax on profits for the next 10 years or so but he did so with no restrictions and as a result, HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of former workers in the auto industry got screwed.

        It looks to me like Obama is only concerned with big corporations or those that donate to the party.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Largely I agree with you.

          But, here is the thing, has ANY party ever been concerned about the “people” of this country? I think not!

          When it comes to power and money, the average working stiff won’t stand a chance against it. Never did, never will.

          This country was founded by the rich and powerful. It is controlled by the rich and powerful. It will stay controlled by the rich and powerful for as long as we have the type of system of government we have. I am particularly referring to un-controlled Capitalism.

          We can complain all we want, even have the illusion that voting matters. But, in reality it don’t mean twat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    Anybody with a semi-functioning brain understands that the future of a nation depends on how well prepared our children are to meet the challenges that lie ahead. Unfortunately, zealots that see evil socialism in everything that demonstrates national and community commitment to the betterment of society remain determined to destroy one of the most important elements in our ability to become the dominant global superpower – public education – and replace it with home schooling by parents who are themselves in desperate need of education.
    Even though this is the best educated generation in the history of the USA, we lag in areas such as hard sciences when compared to other industrialized nations, and in an era of high tech that spells economic disaster. There are many reasons for our inability to compete with other nations in the area of education, but one of the most important, besides neglecting our chidren and failing to motivate them, is the fact that we delay the start of education by about two years. Pre-school and a stricter kindergarden are needed to prepare our children for the challenges of high school and college. Our problem is not that our colleges are substandard, tens of thousands of foreign students come to the USA every year because our colleges are among the best in the world. We simply have to invest in education, an encourage our kids to pursue an upper education. The GOP, as usual, is on the wrong side of history and devoid of common sense.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Unfortunately Dominick, you might be right in our educational standards. Hard Sciences are being neglected in favor of Sports Programs and in some cases Christian Creationist Theories. This does not bode well for the advanced sciences in the US. Right now the LHD is the premiere place to go and study in Europe. Scientist here are leaving in droves to go to the LHC, Japan and even India for advanced sciences.

      We lost this scientific “edge” sometime back when we stopped building the worlds largest collider in Texas, half way through the project.

      Even in the area of medicine, India is now the place to go. Believe or not, most medications these days isn’t even produced here, but in India, Turkey and Germany. Much of this is the American Citizen’s own fault. People find it too easy to sue a doctor or a drug company for even a hangnail.

      However, you are wrong in our colleges being the best in the world. There is only a handfull of top-rated colleges in the US and usually very expensive.

      The only reason foreigners even come here to learn is because our government gives them benifits far beyond what the average citizen gets to come here in the first place, hoping they become doctors in which case they can’t talk a single sentence in clear english.

      Don’t believe me? Go to any Government VA Hospital and just sit and listen. Most of the Interns at the Cleveland Wade Park VA serve their internships at the VA via University Circle Hospital and Cleveland Clinic. The colleges and universities are raking in the dough galore though. For the VA, its cheap doctoring for the time being.

      Once these so-called Doctors get their licences, they go elsewhere making 6 figure incomes within 2 years or less. And, most of them don’t even try to pay back the government for the grants they did get on or above what the government gives free.

      • mah101

        What benefits do foreigners get for coming here for an education? In fairness I have a great deal of direct experience with this, and in none of that experience did I see that foreign students had any additional benefits. They have to study for advanced degrees in their second (or third) language (can you do that?), they aren’t eligible for student loans, they can’t work off campus to make additional money, they are far from home and ANY support network, and they have to constantly deal with visa and other issues – sometimes not even being able to visit home for years at a time. Once they earn their degree, if they want to stay and work in the US (and we should certainly welcome their skills and abilities), they usually need to find an employer who is willing to foot the additional bill of paying for an H1 visa just to offer them a job.

        If you know of any advantages they get from the government or universities, please let me know… I’d like to know that people I care about have worked so hard and suffered so much in vain.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Whether I can study for an advanced degree isn’t the point. So, don’t make this a personal attack as you are trying to do. But, since you’re implying I can’t study, your game too.

          Far from home?, no support network? Spare me the Pity Party. Our soldiers protect their sorry asses over there and our soldiers get killed doing it. And, we pay them to come here, not to mention anyone of them could be a born and bred terrorist ready to take your head off.

          If they are not citizens, they shouldn’t be able to even get a shit house cleaning job. Save our jobs for our “Citizens”. Employment should be right only offered to our citizens.

          When questioned about their grants and funding, you’d be surprised how fast they don’t “understand” a word you say. And, this not only applies to these foreign college students but just every deli owner I have ever encountered in a poor area of whatever town I visited here. They’re poor? Right……………..

          In what capacity are you involved with this?

          Care for these people? How about caring for our own natural-born citizens for a change! We have more than enough citizens to care for. But, to you, I suppose being a US Citizen don’t mean twat.

          Where is that dam BARF BAG!

          • mah101

            Kollmorgen,
            I never made this a personal attack (an omission I intend to rectify in this response). I was pointing out that foreign students studying in the US for advanced degrees do not have the great advantages that you seem to believe they do. Instead, they face many difficulties that US citizens would not even begin to face.

            However, you did personally attack me, my family, and my friends. I don’t know where to begin. Your post is so full of crap, misinformation, and vitriol I honestly have a hard time deciding whether I should just tell you to stuff it, or to respond to your points.

            So I’ll try both. First, it is none of your business how I am involved in this, and frankly you don’t deserve an answer. Nonetheless I know far more about the subject than you, and from direct experience. However, since it seems to matter so much to you, let me say that I am a US citizen but several PhD carrying members of my family and circle of friends are foreign born and here on H1b’s or have permanent residency. Status that they have earned through hard work and dedication.

            So, now you tell me that my family and friends, with their advanced degrees in fields we need in the US, should not even be allowed to get a job cleaning sh!t houses. Employment is only for US citizens… Would you like to tell that to me in person? Because, honestly, that is just so far beyond stupid and offensive that I hope that it does not represent your full cognitive abilities.

            You can’t even stay on topic – first you attacked foreigners with advanced degrees, and now you equate them to the deli owner in the poor part of town. Your initial comment that I responded to involved people coming here to study for advanced degrees, but I can see now that you are simply engaged in attacking foreigners in general – you might do well to remember that at one point your family were foreigners here as well.

            You disparage those who come here to work hard, gain advanced degrees, and contribute to their fields, innovate new ideas, and advance our understanding of the world. You attack those who come to learn how to care for the sick, to improve the lives of people around them and around the world. You denigrate those who not only support themselves but maintain their obligations to help family back home. These people deserve your respect, even if you disagree with their presence here.

            None of my family or friends had ANY help from the US government in coming here to study. They were not eligible for loans since those financial supports are only available for citizens, they could not work off campus because of their visa restrictions. I don’t know where you got the idea that somehow they are getting some advantage that is denied to you. You too, could do it if you had their level of dedication and work ethic, and if you carried the expectations and obligations of their families. But you, sir, would have an advantage – you would get to study in your own language. You would be eligible for financial aid. You would be able to work a job to make some money. You could go see family and friends and reconnect with your social networks whenever you wanted. You would have that level of support. But in fairness, you have what appears to be a glaring disadvantage as well – your lack of critical thinking and empirical skills would not serve you well – but hey, give it a try.

            And then you say that by caring for my family members and friends I am demonstrating total disregard for US citizens. Perhaps I should care more for you and your offensive drivel and dearth of cognitive abilities than I do for my family and friends – simply because you are a US citizen? Not a chance, sir. But, other than you(for whom, at the moment, I care very little) I care very much for my fellow citizens and if I gave your comments any credence, I would take great offense. However, let us consider the source…

            And as for your Pity Party reference, I believe that it is you who is engaging in that. Perhaps you feel that others are getting something that is denied to you? Well they are not, they are just trying to fulfill the expectations they and their families have of themselves. Perhaps before decrying the successes of others, you should look to your own motivations and shortcomings.

            So now we are back to my other option, which I intend to fulfill in this response. You, sir, are an offensive loudmouthed idiot.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            What is so wrong about putting our natural born citizens first? Seems to me we certainly have enough to fill these positions once educated.

            I suppose our own citizens can’t be educated, can’t run businesses? It seems to me also US Citizens have been taking a back seat to foreigners far too long.

            By the way, I thank you for giving me such a compliment. I really do:) Yep, I’m a loudmouth and dam proud of it, especially when it concerns this country. As far as being an Idiot, I’ve been accused of worse. Was that the best you could do?

            I doubt you were born here. If you were, my apologies to your parents.

          • mah101

            I NEVER made any comment that US citizens are unimportant, incapable of learning, or running a business – if that’s what you want to believe my position is then fine, but you reveal a stark and foreboding inability to comprehend what others are saying.

            And then… you go way too far. You have now insulted my parents as well.

            I called you an idiot in the hopes that you would recognize it as a polite way of calling you something far more appropriate. Unfortunately that seems beyond your abilities.

            I will not argue with you, for I make it a policy to avoid arguing with morons who refuse to face reality. Its a waste of my time.

            You should also be careful with being a loudmouth. It is really pathetic to watch someone fight a battle of wits as woefully unarmed as you.

            So until you stop thinking that rounds of “USA! USA!” and pathetic put downs can actually stand in for reasoned argument, until you realize that your offensive behavior only pisses off those with whom eventually you must find common accord, until you can actually have a discussion without falsely attributing the other’s motives and positions to your own pathetically preconceived opinions, there is no point in talking further.

            Also, an honorable person would not insult someones friends and family, and then double down by insulting their parents as well. In case you are not capable of making the connection, you can either apologize to my parents or you can reveal yourself to be of little character.

            And, just to show you how wrong you can be while you continue to spout your drivel, my family has been here since 1642 – it is a shame that we didn’t have better immigration laws when your family came over or I wouldn’t be insulted by such a jerk as yourself.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Since your family has been here since 1642, you’re more red-blooded american than I am.

            So, why do you not support educating our citizens first?

          • whodatbob

            Such a hole you are digging for yourself.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I know, it may seem like I am.

            I don’t want to offend anyone, that is not my way.

            But, I am much more concerned about this country and our citizens than ANYONE ELSE.

      • whodatbob

        Your preconceived ideas have no facts to back them up. You must be one of the brainwashed Robotons you wrote about in a previous post!

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Who the hell needs facts. Just take a good look around you. That should be proof enough. Go to any VA and just listen.

          Better yet, don’t believe me?, go talk to any Military Vet that uses any of our VA Hospitals. I experienced this first hand taking my dad to the VA for years.

          Do you know what the biggest complaint in the VA is? Guys who come out of the Military with hearing damage, older WW2, Nam Vets. They can’t understand half the stuff these foreign doctors tell them. These people can’t even speak clear English. But, these so-called Doctors sure can talk about the all mighty dollar bill.

          And, more than just about anything else, that is extremely important, being clearly understood, when discussing a medical problem. Wouldn’t you think so?

          I went to a local doctor here a few years back. Foreigner, probably from the middle east. I have major hearing loss myself. It was impossible to understand that man. I asked him several times to speak clearly which he never did. Even his nurse couldn’t understand him half the time. She asked him more than a few times to clarify what he meant. I walked right out of the office. F-em. And, I didn’t pay my overly expensive office visit fee either.

          Up to this day, I’ll never go to a foreign doctor, not even for a hang nail. Granted, sometimes it’s unavoidable. But, if I do, he better dam well speak clear English.

          Believe, I ain’t bullshitting, I have no need to lie and not blowing anything out of proportion in the least about any of this.

          • whodatbob

            My youngest son, 2 tours in Iraq, uses a VA hospital in Texas for treatment for physical problrms he has from his service in Iraq. He is happy with his treatment and the Doctors. A good friend and my brother both Nam Vets utilize one our local VA hospital and are satisfied with their care.
            I am not a vet so unable to utilize VA care, however some of my doctors are foreign, excellent doctors, and a few are hard to understand. I am now hearing impared and sometimes have difficulty understanding my American born doctors.
            You sir write like a bigoted old white man who has it in for foreigners. Your type give the rest of us old white men a bad man.
            Remember if some of your foreignborn ancesters had not come to America you would not be here.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Believe what you like.

            Yes, you are right, I myself am a third generation transplant. Most of my ancestors located in Astabula Ohio in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This was the time of mostly European Immigrants. Most of us were German, Slovak and some Jewish. This was my mothers side of the family. My dad never talked much about his ancestors. But, at least I know he is German and so am, I German and Slovak.

            But, at least my ancestors learned to speak English in public. Yes, some of us held on to the older European Languages. But, during WW2 we weren’t even allowed to speak it in public from fear of public reprisals. And, no, none of us have a severe foreign accent. We used to kid our grandfather about his heavy Slovak accent. But, you sure still could fully understand him. Instead of saying SOB, he’d say Son Of A Basket;)

            But, I’ll be dammed if I can understand most of these immigrants from the Middle East, India and parts of Asia. I’m not an old bigot. But, it would be nice if people come here, they can learn to speak our language understandably. And, for these people to work in our Hospitals, where communication is so important, one would think they’d place a very high priority on understanding them.

            Yes, some regular doctors are hard to understand as well. I don’t know why when these people are in training, they don’t get major coursework on talking to patients so they are clearly understood.

            And, I’m not even going to touch on the subject of these Call Centers located in India, so called help centers.

            So, I question mah101 if in fact his family has been here since, what 1642? The only immigrants that came here during that time were Europeans, Slave Owners and of course the colored slaves. What is his ethnic background then? So, I don’t have any idea who or what this person is trying to protect.

            In fact, this person, if it is true what he states, this person is more red-blooded american than I am. He/she should be more concerned about this issue than even myself.

            By rights, this country should make English the National Language. And, anyone who wishes to come here should learn it BEFORE they arrive here and be able to speak it clearly.

            Enough of this bullshit!

          • whodatbob

            Nice story, but you are still sound like a bigiot because of your lack of tolerance of people who speak English wirh a foreign accent. Yes, I agree it is often difficult to understand those wiht Asian and Indian accents, but it is encombered on us to make the effort. As it is encombered on them to make the effort to understand us when in their country. Remember when the frist settlers arrived they were the foreigners who spoke a different language.
            My French ancesters arrived in 1614, German ancesters – 1742 fought in Revolutionary War and Spanish – 1781. The French and Spanish were in Louisiana becoming Americans in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase.
            Yes, enough! Hpoefully we can remain frends even when we disagree. God Speed and have a Nice Day

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Yes, I have no problems being friends or being good debaters on this site. We are exercising our freedom of speech rights:)

            I even admit I sound like a bigot. I am fully aware of this. I’m really not. Why should I be the cause of discrimination in this country when a lot of other people have institutionalized it since the founding of this country.

            But, being in my age bracket, I’ve seen a lot more than most people have and experienced way more. I don’t like Rose-Colored Glasses. And, being politically correct is dead wrong in many instances.

            Sometimes people have to face reality. Yes, maybe I should too, just keep my mouth shut, don’t say anything, don’t ruffle any feathers.

            But, haha, I ain’t goona lay down and croak yet:) I plan on ruffling a lot more feathers before I kick off.

            You also have a nice day;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/ErikNash1965 Erik Nash

        I agree, it seems like our own country has sold us out for a few schekles. And they are worried about some nut job country or idiot in the Mideast or North Korea? Well, at least they have the smartest if not the most suicidal representations of humanity

    • jstsyn

      Vila, we could use folks like you to run for office.

  • JohnRNC

    High Quality education from Pre-K to High School graduation should be a “no-brainer” and therein lies the problem. The evolving conservative agenda is more about actively “dumbing-down” the population than about educating it. The new NC governor (Pat McCrory) is pulling funding from both ends of the spectrum (Pre-K and University funding) and plowing it into vocational programs that teach “job skills”. In his view, we don’t want a population that can think, we just want obedience and productivity.

    Opposition to fully funding education has nothing to do with what is “right” for children and their development. It is class warfare aimed at our most vulnerable.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Well John, you can’t deny that for many years now the vocational trades that were staple offerings in my day in junior high and high school have been largely abandoned in favor of computer classes.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that kids learn computer skills. They pick it up a lot faster than I ever did.

      But, computer skills aren’t enough. Companies constantly complain employees can’t “think on their feet”. In my former profession, now retired, I was required to think on my feet constantly and be able to adapt fast being a professional machinist.

      This could be said for any profession. So, these vocational skills really help people learn to think. Some of these courses can lead to a well-paying job and career. Some of these potential careers actually pay better than if you have a 4 year degree. Not everyone is able to learn some of these computer skills. And, some just aren’t college material.

      And, besides, what’s the use of learning only computer skills, facts and figures when you can’t fix a leaky faucet? I know people personally who are smart as a whip and earn great incomes. But, in basic knowledge, they’re dumber than a box of rocks. They don’t even know one end from another of a Screwdriver.

      Talk about dumbing down America, wow!

  • AlfredSonny

    Republicans’ strategy is to keep Americans under educated so that they could be conned and manipulated enough to support them blindly.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HJIWONQOW4EAYMCA4QH2DDJMBU MARK

      Absolutely,intelligent and educated people are too smart to tolerate thier shit.

  • jstsyn

    Education is the future of America. It should be among number one priorities and never on the table for cuts of any kind. Cutting teachers or their salaries has to stop.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Yes, to a great degree, I agree with you. These teachers should be paid a lot better than they are. Teaching at one time used to be one of the most honorable professions there was. In other parts of the world it still is very honorable. But not here anymore.

      They have many forces working against them. The first is that when a bad teacher is teaching, the bulk of them will ignore it and shove it into a file cabinet someplace. This is also the fault of their teachers union. And, in the public eye, it reflects on the entire profession as a whole. They should root out the bad teachers in order to regain respectability of the entire profession.

      The second problem is dealing with parents. Parents are no longer parents. They expect these school system to raise them, not teach them. Yet, they, the parents, expect these teachers to put up with all their crap and with low wages and constant threats of being layed off if the newest and greatest tax levy isn’t passed?

      These teacher today are in an impossible situation. You’re screwed if you do and screwed if you don’t. I don’t believe I would have the fortitude to tolerate it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_REQQEMPOQISA3W6B42SHFMKTEM Andrew

    To expand upon what AlfredSonny wrote: the GOP don’t have the balls to admit this, but it’s truly what they think….only the children of wealthy people should be educated, because their parents can afford it. All of the “urchins”, in their opinion, should be working in factories for $2-$3 per hour with no benefits and under oppressive working conditions. Also, because most children wouldn’t be educated, they’d grow up to become GOP voters and supporters.

    There’s something that the GOP are too incompetent to realize. When all of the wealth and power are concentrated with the elite (them), the only thing left to “get” is REVOLUTION! The continued upward redistribution of wealth and power to the elite by the GOP via tax cuts/loopholes is the “smoking gun” proof of this. Again, the GOP’s incompetence is shown when you consider the saying, “those who do not know of history are doomed to repeat it”.

    Throughout the history of this world, many monarchies/elitists have tried this upward redistribution of wealth and power. The end result, in almost every case, was the same: REVOLUTION! Let’s take the French Revolution as an example. You remember the French Revolution…before it, Marie Antoinette infamously said about the poor and middle class French, “Let them eat cake”. Not only did the French monarchy/elitists at the time get a revolution, many of them got their heads separated from their bodies via guillotines. Now, don’t get me wrong: even though the GOP deserve to have their heads chopped off, I’m not proposing such a thing. Instead, I believe that the new US revolution would be quite similar to the recent one in Iceland.

    Icelanders noticed the upward redistribution of wealth and power to the greedy banksters and corrupt government officials that suborned that behavior. The response was to arrest all of them and take back the country. Even now, those criminals are being tried and CONVICTED of their crimes. Prisons everywhere tend to be a bit cold. Can you imagine being imprisoned in ICELAND? This also brings up a hilarious irony. If the GOP elitists are arrested, they’d probably be charged with treason and send to the one place the GOP has disallowed President Obama to close: GITMO!

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Your exact viewpoint is the exact same viewpoint I’ve held for many years.

      History will repeat itself here in this country IF we don’t stop this movement of Trickle Up! Revolution is the inevitable conclusion. I “probably” won’t live to see it like the rest of the people living today. But, I believe within the next 50 to 100 years, in the US it will come to pass. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already to be honest about it.

      But, average, everyday people are so easily brainwashed, aren’t they. There is a tipping point and we’re not far from it.

  • RobertCHastings

    Cynthia Tucker makes the point, along with other points, that a high-quality pre-school program reaps rewards, well beyond the money invested. Children who will enter first grade without an adequate preparation will generally comprise those who are held back and those who are trouble-makers, those who will drop out, those who will drag down standardized test scores, those who will eventually wind up in jail, or unemployed. It should be easy to understand that a person who cannot keep up with his peers is going to have problems. You don’t win a 100 – yard dash by starting out ten yards behind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

    The younger a child is when introduced to educational materials the more their brains adapt to learning.

    I have heard of parents who play classical music while the child is still unborn. Apparently, it helps develop an affinity for musical arts.

    The brain becomes more capable of growth the earlier it begins to exercise.

    Much like the principle of compound interest, which states that the growth of any principal amount becomes more exponential the longer it has a chance to grow.

  • kmorgana

    American education systems “best in the world”? How?? I was lucky to get SOME of my childhood education overseas. When I came back to the states, I was shocked at how classmates in my age group were in my eyes practically retarded. There was NO effort to encourage learning, only a “system” to get students to follow a rote system to memorize useless dates in history, while ignoring the actual historical events behind them. More effort was placed on the institutional theme rather than teaching children how to THINK. My classmates couldn’t even place the nation I arrived from on a map, nor had they even heard of it. I became an angry, rebellious youth- struggling to understand the bizarre concerted effort by so called educators intent on stifling intelligence instead of applauding it. 30 years later I discovered an article on Charlotte Iserbyt “Iserbyt is a speaker and writer, best known for her 1985 booklet Back to Basics Reform or OBE: Skinnerian International Curriculum and her 1989 pamphlet Soviets in the Classroom: America’s Latest Education Fad which covered the details of the U.S.-Soviet and Carnegie-Soviet Education Agreements which remain in effect to this day. ” about her book “Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” where she as a former Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Education, blew the whistle on government activities withheld from the public. Please, PLEASE parents- if you want your child to learn, teach them yourself. Get them in a private school, anything!! Just DON’T send them to an American public school, no matter how “wonderful” they claim to be. I am sure I will get numerous replies from angry teachers claiming I am wrong. But I am RIGHT- and Charlotte Iserbyt has proven it, our CHILDREN prove it. They are stupid, ignorant, and unknowing. It’s not their fault. It’s the system, and it sucks, and it’s broken.

    • kmorgana

      and another thing- why are children taught THEORIES as fact?

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        This is because theories are based on some facts that have been researched and validated many times in the past. Theories just help bring together and clarify all these bits and pieces of facts. Once confirmed as true, it turns into a unified a cohesive paragon. If not confirmed as true, it is then discarded and a new theory takes its place. In essence, this is how basic science works.

        In short, on a child’s level as well as on an adult level, theories helps people THINK and expand their knowledge of other possible valid alternatives.

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