In a recent interview in the
This statement provoked a lot of discussion and critical comment on our NYC education list serv. While few disputed the value of high-quality preschool for four and three years, especially for disadvantaged children, his emphasis on “rigorous, standards-based programs" is a real red flag to many parents. From experience we know what these words mean: pushing our kids into the grind of academics and testing that has overwhelmed our schools -- way before they’re ready for it.
Holy Cow!! lets do away with childhood altogether. Maybe they can go from the womb to training programs. We could have standardized tests like, one year old must be reciting the alphabet, front and backwards. Two year olds doing beginner math. You get the point.
Why have mothers and fathers, let the government do it. There is no better time than those early years and that means up to 5 years old. When everything to a child is a wonder. That is what most of us had children for. I am all for Pre K, at 4 years old or even day care and early 3yr old programs when the parent either wants or needs it. I can see having a child attend some program to give them a chance at socialization with other children and maybe some of the basics, colors, numbers etc in the context of PLAY.
But kids need to be kids. And suggesting standards at this stage is ridiculous since as a mother of three I know in the early years all children progress at different rates. And a "rigorous standard based program" means in DOE language "Let's TEST them."
My kids are grown, the youngest starts Senior Year in HS this September, but this is not the world I hope to see my grandchildren be taught in some day. Hope I am here to fight it even then.
Co President James Madison HS
Former President President Council Reg 6 HS
Former President President Council District 22, Brooklyn