17 March 2013

Four-Year-Old Truants

"This isn't about being forced to go," claims a self-proclaimed attendance expert. "It's, do you want your child to succeed?"

Four-year-olds have some of the highest truancy rates going.  This horrible "chronic absenteeism" affects lower-income students more because their families don't have the "resources" to make up for missed time in the classroom.

Because yeah.  These parents don't know their letter sounds and their numbers from 1 to 20 and couldn't possibly have the brains to, you know, teach them to their children during their daily lives.

"Truancy" is something that needs to be addressed with tougher laws, according to the article.  "It's a problem that needs to be addressed, experts say, especially after President Barack Obama's recent proposal to expand funding of voluntary public prekindergarten... he envisions it as a way to close the achievement gap for poor and minority students, improve high school graduation rates and ultimately strengthen the workforce."

So.  It's voluntary.  Until it's not. I honest to goodness don't see how "another two years for the state to forcefeed the same educational crap that didn't work before" (I'm paraphrasing here) is really going to help people. 

And so what if it did?  Let's pretend preschool is something that is a net societal good.  So what?  You'd force three- and four-year-old children away from their parents to satisfy new attendance laws for their own good?  This is truly awful stuff.

I love my child's preschool.  And if I could send my 11-year-old for playtime, I seriously would.  But I would never want any family to be forced into sending children of any age to school or anywhere else.

8 comments:

  1. That is just the saddest thing ever. I think the motives are a lot more sinister, but that's just me.

    Babies belong with their mamas. It's a travesty to make mamas feel as though they shouldn't want to keep their kids home with them.

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    1. Moms that don't send their kid to preschool every day are simply raising hellion truants who are never gonna make it into college. I mean, read the article, right? :/

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  2. I just thought of something: Maybe they are so worried about the truancy rates of 4 year olds because they know that id they aren't in school, they are smoking cigarettes on street corners and causing trouble. It's a matter of public safety, practically.

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    1. Eesh.

      You know, I don't know whether to laugh about the stereotypes not quite whispered in articles like these, or bother to get offended by them... notice only "poor and minority" kids need the preschool. It's sort of a fashionable paternalism. It pisses me off, to be honest.

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  3. I just read this article a little while ago. The line "This isn't about being forced to go," Chang said. "It's, do you want your child to succeed?" really bothered me and you don't want to know what my husband had to say about it.

    This concerns me. Small children need more downtime than older children do and some need more than others. And studies have revealed again and again that by third grade the difference between the child that didn't go to preschool and the ones that do is nearly non-existent. They are hoping that this will close the learning gap at the beginning of school and standardize their results, which completely ignores the differences that produce the gaps on the first place.

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    1. Yeah, we are drilling four-year-olds for success instead of taking care of their very real needs. :( I just feel badly for those parents, especially the so-called "poor and minority" parents, who disproportionately live in areas where the rules are actually stricter than in other places and they have less chance to parent their children as they wish.

      I don't "get" why mayors are in charge of city schools and why they are run like prisons, but it sure isn't because that's what the "kids" need.

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  4. I think it is about control more than anything. Research has not proved the benefits of preschool, especially the emphasis on early academics.

    http://www.parentingscience.com/preschool-stress.html
    http://www.seattlechildrens.org/outdoorplay/
    http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=275
    http://www.preschooldraper.com/files/Importance_of_Play.pdf
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/02/science/scientific-inquiry-among-the-preschool-set.html?ref=science&_r=2&
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/04/05/academic-benefits-to-play-during-early-childhood-education.html

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    1. Interesting. You have liberal/ conservative/ about any slant you wish backing this up.

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