This time it's not the article as much as O'hanian's comments that interest me. As a kindergarten teacher I happen to agree, and the article just reinforces the comments and my agreement.
Ohanian Comment: Sorry to rain on the good progressives' parade but let's not lie down and roll over for universal preschool. Too often, it is a smokescreen and an outrage. The fact that no corporate-politico and even few progressive do-gooders will face is that people who live in places characterized as needy neighborhoods need more money. They need a living wage much more than they need skill checklists for their 4-year-olds. And without that living wage the skill drills are likely to do more harm than good.
Universal preschool is an outrage:
- when it denegrates and demeans parents' abilities to nurture their own children.
- when it is used to obscure the fact that what families really need are living wages--so they can take care of their own children.
- when it is used as a first step on the test-prep conveyor belt leading to kindergrind, which has become an obstacle course of skills blocking a kid's entrance to first grade, which is viewed as preparing kids for second grade, which starts prepping kids in the skills necessary to pass the third grade test, which is the gateway to college entrance.
- when it labels children as deficient in the arbitrary and inappropriate skills dreamt up by committees.
- when it travels under the political banner of the great equalizer.