Posts Tagged ‘universal preschool’

Another case for Universal Preschool

February 19, 2008

While much of my focus is on pre-school bullies, and I’ve suggested universal pre-school as a possible starting point for combating biters, kickers, hitters and all around abusers, there are broader calls with what some might argue to be stronger arguments for universal pre-school offerings. 


USA Today’s editorial blog from February 18 presents some of those arguments.  The editorial board of USA Today recognizes that in order to combat high school dropout rates and graduate more students from high school who will go on to earn more than their non-grad counterparts, early intervention is one tool to keep kids in school. 


From addressing attendance and literacy problems early on, more students may be likely and willing to stay in school even if their state does not mandate their attendance.  Commitment to universal pre-school suggests to me a similar commitment to the needs of young children and their future success.  If communities are not investing in the educational needs of their children, what kind of future does that community face?  

Universal Preschool

February 14, 2008

What did you learn in Kindergarten? 

If you’re like me, that was a long time ago.  There are moments frozen in my memory, but what’d I learn?  I don’t remember.  Of course back then, the idea of a full day of kindergarten was unheard of.

The state of Indiana – the state in which I teach — is working on requiring full day Kindergarten, and the state of Michigan – where I reside — requires all students to attend Kindergarten.  With such laws, do they require preschool?  Of course not.  Nevertheless, I’m torn about preschool. 

When I was growing up, preschool was called play school.  We probably worked on colors, and if Mom’s reading this, she can certainly correct me on what we did and didn’t do.  I vaguely remember taking little trips to the post office to see how things worked and to the fire department to check out the trucks, and there was always reading going on in our house.  But it seems to me that preschool’s a necessary element to a child’s readiness for Kindergarten these days, and Emily Guevera of the Beaumont Enterprise helps explain why that’s the case. 

Seems to me that if we’re going to require students to attend Kindergarten, and if we’re going to expect children to be able to sit through a full day of school who’ve never had a schooling experience, that these states need to invest in stronger preschool programs.  But I’m not really just talking to the states here.  Senator McCain, what’s your plan?  Senator Obama, what’s yours?  Governor Huckabee, how will you support preschool programs nationally?  Senator Clinton’s got the Head Start plan, but is she also prepared to support moms and dads who need childcare/workplace assistance in assuring their children can attend preschool?  In 2003, 1/3 of at risk children in the state of Michigan were not receiving the services they needed.  With all the talk of universal health care, perhaps we should consider universal preschool too.