Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Parents Who Don't Parent

In a New York Times article, "Parents Who Don't Parent" a Chicago school teacher addresses the crucial stage development before age 3 and laments that these formative years are "left to the discretion, involvement and economic abilities of the parents" leaving many children, most notably urban children, at a social disadvantage when they enter kindergarten. The solution,

"To address this initial and rarely insurmountable inequity, free education ought to be mandatory at age 1, not age 5. (Parents who do not wish to participate can continue to home school or enroll their children in licensed daycares.) Early intervention is required to ensure that all children are activating and engaging their brains during these crucial years."
But wasn't that the reason free education was started in the first place, in order to handle the children whose parents were too poor to adequately educate them? A century or so later we can see that the result of this "solution", was that both rich and poor parents took advantage of the "free education" and an ever growing education monopoly was born, with wealthier districts doing well and urban districts in shambles. Why would any one think that the same thing wouldn't happen with universal preschool beginning at age one?

I also find it interesting that this article refers to the choice NOT to enroll the child in school or daycare as "homeschooling" and not parenting. From the state's perspective, the formative years before age 5 are simply to get the child ready to enter the state's system of indoctrination. Motherhood is God's plan for universal preschool, but the state is not content with that solution and seeks to parent for us. Sadly most parents, rich or poor, are willing to let them.

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