Wednesday, 04 March 2015

The Push for Birth to Age Five Education

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The public school establishment has long wanted to expand its control over American children from the present compulsory attendance school age of 6 to 16 to younger ages. The National Education Association, which has not hidden its opposition to privately owned and operated preschool centers, has long advocated government education to begin at birth. Their Early Childhood Education resolution, passed at their last convention in 2014, states:

The National Education Association supports early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight. The Association also supports a high-quality program of transition from home and/or preschool to the public kindergarten or first grade. This transition should include communication and cooperation among parents/guardians, the preschool staff, and the public school staff. The Association believes that such programs should be held in facilities that are appropriate to the developmental needs of these children. The Association also believes that early childhood education programs should include a full continuum of services for parents/guardians and children, including child-care, child development, developmentally appropriate and diversity-based curricula, special education, and appropriate bias-free screening devices. Early childhood education programs also must be sensitive to and meet the physical, social, mental, and emotional health and nutritional needs of children.

Federally funded preschool programs must also support the development of professional preschool teachers, teaching assistants, and administrators, as well as provide training programs that prepare parents and guardians for their role in early childhood education.

If you’re wondering how the public educators are going to start educating American children at birth, wonder no longer. This will be done by home visits. They are taking a page from ObamaCare, which provided $1.5 billion over five years for a new program to send nurses and other workers to the homes of parents with social and economic problems. The program is called Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting, or MIECHV. 

That is the model the public educators will use to create their own home-visiting program. Of course this governmental approach contradicts everything we know about how children learn in the first years of life. They don’t need government certified teachers to help them learn to speak their own language or make heads or tails of reality. The human infant is a dynamo of self-learning and needs no assistance from the State unless the parents are dysfunctional and endangering their children.

But our totalitarian-minded educators, bureaucrats, and politicians are determined to impose on the American people a form of socialism that has not existed before, one that makes use of all the great technology created by our capitalist system. Instead of using that technology to expand individual freedom, it will be used to enslave us.

Already, respectable education journals are writing about these home-visiting programs as if they were a perfectly normal phenomenon in a free society. According to Education Week (2-11-15):

A report released Wednesday by two organizations that support home visiting takes a deeper look at the results from that investment (which is now up to $1.9 billion, after an additional $400 million infusion last October). In addition to reaching vulnerable families who voluntarily agree to participate, the report's authors said, states have used the federal funding to train home visitors, create centralized intake systems that connect families to a variety of services, and foster collaboration among multiple state agencies. 

The report, a joint effort between the Center for Law and Social Policy and the Center for American Progress, both based in Washington, is an effort to bring attention to work that has not been broadly highlighted, the authors said.

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is staffed by the usual professional liberal fighters in the War on Poverty. They offer “policy solutions that work for low-income people,” solutions that never solve anything. The War on Poverty, launched in 1964, was lost a long time ago. According to their website:

High-quality child care and early education can build a strong foundation for young children's healthy development and ensure that children have all they need to thrive.... We support policies that expand resources for child care and early education initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels. We also study the relationships between child care subsidy systems, Head Start and Early Head Start, state pre-kindergarten programs, and other birth to five early education efforts, to advance ideas that ensure these systems address the full range of needs of children and families.

“High quality child care” is a phrase constantly prattled by these self-appointed do-gooders. They cannot demonstrate what “high quality” is since even public educators can’t define it. The poor in this country have been raising their children quite nicely since the foundation of the Republic. Virtually all of them now have refrigerators, cars, TVs, and many of them even have computers. The poor in America live better than what could be described as "middle class" in most other places on the planet. Yet all the federal educational programs for the poor have not improved the education of the poor.

As for the Center for American Progress (CAP), it was created in 2003 as a left-wing, progressive alternative to such think tanks as the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Major donors to the Center include George Soros, Peter Lewis, Steve Bing, Herb and Marion Sandler, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Walmart, Wells Fargo, and others.

The Center promotes all the programs of the progressive Left, which has made a shambles of American public education. And so, the Center for Law and Social Policy and the Center for American Progress are in the forefront of those promoting birth-to-five education by the federal government. What do you think they will be doing to the brains of these children?

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