Below is excerpt from one individual that lambasted my blog yesterday on “Liberal Robin Hood Plans do not Work”. I respect other people’s viewpoints and I think it is good to show them. I certainly do not claim to have all the right answers. First, I will answer a few of the reader’s questions or statements directed towards me.
I may not have been clear on how I propose to pay for this “head start” program. In my book I explain this better. I propose redirecting monies allocated for welfare to pay for the program. I know this would not happen, but I propose no new spending going to the poor to support this program. Also, I do not mandate this program, however it is optional for kids and families to take advantage of.
The reader also questions my expertise in this area. She has a point since I am certainly not an expert on this topic. However, if I couple my experience with other family members I have sought the advice from, we have nearly 200 years in teaching and administrative (Principal) experience. Their experience comes from 9 states in all levels of schooling from 1st grade through college and even classes taught in the corporate world. Most of the people have upper level degrees and have written over 10 books on various subjects. Their experience includes teaching reading and math to 1st graders to literature and advanced mathematics such as calculus and differential equations in high school and college. They have all taught in poorest school districts to some well to do districts. Everyone is in agreement that poor children have a much less chance of succeeding. In order to put an end to Affirmative Action and other diversity initiatives promoting mediocrity, we must first make sure the poor are given every chance to succeed to eliminate the excuses that lead to mediocrity policies.
I also want to point out that I, and any of the people whose expertise I sought on this subject, do not have any affiliation with the NEA. I am also not an advocate of any standardize testing, and talk about those shortcoming in my book. I may have to do a few more educational reform blogs to clear some of the reader’s questions.
Below are the reader’s comments to some of my statements in yesterday’s blog. What is in quotes was taken from my blog, the rest are the readers comments.
“Why? Simply providing extra money into a poor performing school district will not erase a student’s poor home environment and it will not necessarily bring in better teachers to improve the curriculum”
Who says it’s the home environment? Because they are poor it means they have home environment that stops them from learning? Have you ever worked with children? .We live in a society full of letters and language, there isn’t a healthy kid born in the US that isn’t exposed to letters and language enough that they can’t learn how to read in a few months when given proper instruction. Poor here fortunately does not mean there are no printed words in the environment.
What are you talking about better teachers’ to improve the curriculum? Since you are talking about early childhood education I’ll discuss reading. The problem is they stopped using intensive phonics. The sweetest most wonderful best intentioned teacher is not going to teach kids how to read unless she is using intensive phonics. BTW It doesn’t take money if the teacher knows what she is doing it doesn’t even take a curriculum (although that would be easier.) I know a single mother that taught her kid to read using the back of junk mail. I’m sure others have found creative ways too of teaching intensive phonics. They don’t even teach math facts anymore, it’s so dumb. Reading is the most important thing but apart from this the curriculums are just garbage too.
“This problem can be resolved by getting children from lower social economic backgrounds into the school system before kindergarten. The sooner they are in the system, the better their chances. Their lack of means and educational opportunities during their first five years of life is already crippling their development. Their environment is holding them back and the sooner they can obtain new experiences, the better their chances are of developing at an equal rate to those from higher economic backgrounds”
This is just a total lie from the NEA and Head Start funding recipients. Just wait when they want all children from all backgrounds in the system earlier. The middle class and wealthy parents will then fight against it but it will be kind of late in the game then because they have been doing it to the poor for twenty years. They will start mandatory testing too and giving out more special education labels for more $$$ like they do the poor now and the middle class and wealthy won’t like it but the system will be too big to fight by then. Don’t fall for it just because the kids are poor. The only thing that cripples their development is way the school systems makes a kid with a health brain and eager to learn into an illiterate adult that can’t do basic math after 13 years of being in the system. Their eyes are on the early childhood money and the money they get from labels NOT on the kids.
I have to clean up now but this is like something from the NEA, don’t fall for their lies.
Your anti-family stuff is totally wrong too. Heavenly Father gave the child to his or her family NOT to the state of ___. The state has no right to step in and say because you are poor, you are stupid and your kid belongs to us at 3 years old. Even in Plato’s book where all the kids went to the state group parenting center they didn’t just target the poor! I don’t know how to articulate this but the real concern is not the kids, it’s just a step closer for them to get more jobs and money and to control people. Cut the funding and see how concerned they would be!
You are against throwing money at the poor but who is going to pay for all of these early educational opportunities? You want kids in the system even earlier, where is that money going to come from?
That isn’t my main concern but what you write doesn’t even make sense. No more money from the rich to the poor but we need more state early childhood education? I am so creeped out from reading your article. I always speak out against the way we view the poor and helpless that they need government school but this really goes beyond that.
Don’t advocate or justify taking away a family or a person’s rights under the save the children type of argument.