Friday, February 15, 2013

President Obama's State of the Union Education Proposals

There were many responses to the President's State of the Union call for school reform.

Washington Post:  Pretty much just described the reforms

I love the president's call to make high quality preschool available for all three and four-year-olds.  If all preschoolers not in school were being raised in loving, enriched homes with plenty of books and an adult with the time to read to them, then we wouldn't need universal access to preschool.  But the sad reality is that many parents who need to work are forced to leave their small children in crowded, poor homecare situations where the children spend a good part of their day in front of a TV.   Children learn so much, and learn so fast, in these early years;  it's terrible to waste them.

Huffington Post: A discussion developed with some parents complaining that they didn't need the Federal Government for preschoolers;  they could educate their own. 

I love the proposal for two guaranteed years of preschool. Yes, many parents have the time and knowledge to provide enrichment for their children's lives without sending them to preschool. But many parents don't.

A well-educated citizenry benefits everyone. Kids who drop out are much more likely to get in trouble and require expensive public spending, such as prisons or welfare. I'd rather pay upfront, and help children from troubled backgrounds get the skills early that they need to be productive members of society.

 CNN Schools of Thought pretty much just described the reforms:

I like President Obama's ideas;  I just wish he had talked more about reading.  As a high school teacher for 35 years, I see the education crisis as a reading crisis.  It was only the avid readers who had sophisticated reading skills, who could write fluently and persuasively, who could concentrate and follow oral arguments, and who could do well across the board, in all of their subjects.  Yet, according to SAT scores, the number of advanced readers has declined over the last forty years.

1 comment:

  1. I would love for Mr. Hirsch and Ms. Sparks to find me one student--just one!--who didn't like to read and read rarely, and yet essay writing had an excellent vocabulary acquired through drill.