State Preschool Should be Vigorously Opposed

God’s plan of happiness for mankind is centered in the family. The family is the place where moral values are passed from parent to child and where the true education of children takes place. There is no substitute for a loving home. It is among the highest crimes to work toward or allow the destruction of the relationship between parent and child.

There is no question that we live in times in which the family is under assault. There is a definite agenda to get children away from their families at younger ages and for more time in the day so that the influence of a mother and father is diminished in the lives of their children.

Prominent educators and politicians illustrate this disdain for families in this way:

“Most youth still hold the same values of their parents…if we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocializeour system will decay.” -John Goodlad (1)

[schools] should liberate students from the ways of thinking imposed by religions and other traditions of thought.” -John Goodlad (2)

Public education has served as a check on the power of parents, and this is another powerful reason for maintaining it.” – John Goodlad (3)

Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating the international child of the future.” -Dr. Chester M. Pierce, Harvard Professor of Education and Psychiatry (4)

Age 5 is too late according to Dr. Pierce. The goal is to separate children from parents as early as possible so the parents are no longer the primary driver of values for a child. If children can bond with teachers and peers at early ages, there is less chance they will ever acquire their parents’ values, especially since Judeo-Christian values and beliefs can’t be raised in Government funded schools.

Linda Darling-Hammond, author of Teaching for Social Justice in the Classroom, and someone recommended by Bill Ayers to President Obama for his Secretary of Education post, wrote:

“If the promise of the Obama education agenda is realized, in 2016 we could see a nation in which all children have access to the health care, housing, and high-quality preschool experience.

Preschool gets as much prominence as socialized medicine and housing? That’s pretty telling of these people’s priorities. Get children early.

Why is the Utah State Office of Education so interested in getting legislators like Senator Aaron Osmond to sponsor state funded preschool bills? Even to the point of making ridiculous generalized claims that for every dollar spent on preschool, the state gets seven back.

Could it be because there is another golden carrot being dangled in front of us in the Federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant? States that “are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive early learning education reform” appear to have a shot at yet more federal funding.

Could it be because the Federal Secretary of Education indicated there was a preference for obtaining Race to the Top (RTTT) funds for those states that implement early education initiatives?

Notice how the feds use us over and over again?

In Utah’s RTTT application we committed to this expansion of early learning.

Project Five: Improving Early Learning Outcomes (supports Invitational Priority 3: Innovations for Improving Early Learning Outcomes)

Utah will:

  • · Maintain and expand full-day kindergarten to eligible students and use data to identify and replicate high-performing projects and practices; and
  • · Support early intervention programs for high-need Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) children by reviewing data and reports from the Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART), Early Learning Initiative (a Waterford Institute Project for in-home, computer-based preparation for school success), CTE sponsored preschools, and other state preschool programs.

Rationale: The foundation for success in reading and mathematics begins before kindergarten. This is especially true for economically disadvantaged students, English language learners, and students with disabilities. We have learned from our optional extended-day kindergarten initiative, that early intervention at the preschool level is essential to narrowing achievement gaps.

Early learning initiatives are also embedded in the CCSSO’s (Council of Chief State Superintendents Organization) “ROADMAP for NEXT-GENERATION STATE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS

“Early learning accountability – holds programs geared towards ensuring that students enter kindergarten ready to learn accountable for results.” …

Expand the scope of diagnostic reviews to encompass the examination of early learning opportunities and other community-based supports for student achievement and attainment. These efforts could encompass gathering information on the proportion of young children who are participating in high quality early childhood programs, the prevalence of family engagement and education programs for parents of young children, and the extent to which elementary schools have built partnerships with early learning and child care programs to align standards, curricula, assessment and professional development efforts from early childhood through grade 3.”…

Consider more far-reaching and fundamental efforts to enhance and mobilize communities, families, early education programs and other partners to complement the influence of school-based improvement initiatives. As stated earlier in this Roadmap, the Taskforce believes in the concept of shared accountability. While the focus of this Roadmap is on the school, district, and state role in improving student achievement, research tells us that families, communities, and other programs can have a large impact on student achievement. States may want to consider involving these entities as wrap-around supports for students, schools, and districts.”

Are you kidding me? Early childhood standards, curricula, assessment, and professional development???

The next-generation state accountability system mentioned above was implemented by Utah earlier this year. The state issued a press release that they had implemented a P-20W longitudinal database tracking system for our children? The “P” is for preschool, and the “W” is for workforce. This is the same old school-to-work tracking concept that has been around for years and is one of the reasons Common Core moves a significant emphasis from literature to informational texts to better prepare workers instead of independent thinkers. We’ve been had. Common Core was just the vehicle to get states on a massive school-to-work database and get state funded preschool started.

Another name for this is Outcome Based Education. It’s been actively implemented before in Nazi Germany for training children from very young ages to be independent of parents, and to be trained for the workforce. The goal is to allow the state central planners to indoctrinate youth as social servants with loyalty to country, instead of individuals who have the freedom to live as they choose and share in their parent’s Judeo-Christian values. They will serve the greater good by becoming what they are told they are fitted to be.

One example of this separation between parent and child is the constructivist approach to textbooks. In many cases there are no textbooks that a child can take home and let the parent help explain concepts that a child might not understand. In cases where there are textbooks, many times they do not have math problem examples or instruction in the books. The Utah State Office of Education (which is full of constructivists) produced such a textbook, and the Granite and Jordan School Districts did for students as well. These constructivist textbooks break down family relationships. They take away the ability of a parent to provide assistance with their child’s homework by refreshing their memory on how to do those problems. It sets up teachers as the people who are smarter than parents because they know how to do the problems, so parents lose credibility in the eyes of their children.

Why is Utah following this path? State funded preschool is a good intention found on the road to hell. It will start with those who are “at-risk” and some study will say it helped those children. Then studies will be promoted that say it was a success with those children and it will be even more successful if all kids are given the choice. Then it will be so successful that all children just need this preschool by state mandate. Think it won’t happen? Consider Sweden.

Sweden has gone down the slippery slope and now demands that parents turn over their children as young as 1 year old to state daycare, and forces private schools to teach the state curriculum as you can see in this video.

Here are some resources that Dr. Himmelstrand references:

1) Sweden implemented government funded day care and encouraged women to leave the home to work. 30 years later they have psychological issues in youth, decreased education results, discipline problems, high rates of sick leave especially among women, deteriorating parental abilities, and more. (slides or full paper)

2) Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance? A study by Katherine A. Magnuson, Christopher J. Ruhm, and Jane Waldfogel.

We find that prekindergarten increases reading and mathematics skills at school entry, but also increases behavioral problems and reduces self-control. Furthermore, the effects of prekindergarten on skills largely dissipate by the spring of first grade, although the behavioral effects do not.

3) Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being by Michael Baker, Jonathan Gruber, Kevin Milligan

Finally, we uncover striking evidence that children are worse off in a variety of behavioral and health dimensions, ranging from aggression to motor-social skills to illness. Our analysis also suggests that the new childcare program led to more hostile, less consistent parenting, worse parental health, and lower-quality parental relationships.

4) Findings from the Canadian Institute of Marriage and Family

For Dr. Neufeld, the capacity for healthy relationships is meant to unfold in the first six years of life. “It’s a very basic agenda,” he says. “By the fifth year of life if everything is continuous and safe then emotional intimacy begins. A child gives his heart to whomever he is attached to and that is an incredibly important part….The first issue is always to establish strong, deep emotional connections with those who are raising you. And that should be our emphasis in society. If we did this, we would send our children to school late, not early.

Other research concurs. In the books “Better Late Than Early” and “School Can Wait” by Raymond & Dorothy Moore, they show research illustrating significant problems with early education. The Moore’s research was highly endorsed as critical to healthy childhood development, and their evidence actually shows that children are better off emotionally and learn better when they are a little more mature and more fully bonded with parents.

A couple years ago I received an email from a teacher in Utah county who was very familiar with a pre-school pilot program being run in one of the school districts. Young children were being put on a bus in the dark hours of the morning and sent off to school. There wasn’t much learning going on because the children were so homesick the teachers spent a lot of time nurturing instead of teaching. They were supplanting the role of the parents.

Here’s a proposal. Utah has a funding issue. We say we want off the federal funds and strings. According to the USOE, about 12% of our education funding comes from the federal government. What if we dropped pre-school, kindergarten and first grade and start children at an older age as they do in Finland (which isn’t hurting for educational success). Removing these (and maybe even 2nd grade or cutting it to half a day for just basics) should knock out a significant portion (if not all) of the 12% of our state education budget that comes from the federal government and allow us to exit the federal string of bad ideas like NCLB and Common Core. Until children enter school, strongly encourage parents to read to their children and teach them basic things at home. A family focused on the education of their children will do more to emotionally and mentally prepare their children to learn at school than they will ever get in the first couple years of a public school. It’s not hard to learn what’s missed in early grades when a student is better prepared to learn.

In 1995, the LDS church issued an official document entitled the Proclamation on the Family. Although it’s never been canonized, we consider this document to have the weight of scripture as it came under the signatures of our church leadership (consisting of what we call the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles).  This document concludes:

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Government sponsored preschool is just the next excuse for government to remove the influence of parents from their children at earlier ages before a child imprints the Judeo-Christian values of their parents. Lets not let this happen in Utah. We can’t afford adding another grade level to education, and we really can’t afford the further erosion of the family. I pray that responsible citizens and officers of government will find ways to protect and preserve the family as the fundamental unit of society, not secondary to compulsory education which is the largest social engineering experiment propagated on the family.

 

————-

Footnotes

(1) Education Innovation, Issue 9, “Report of Task Force C: Strategies for Change,” Schooling for the Future, a report to the President’s Commission on Schools Finance, Issue #9, 1971.

(2) “Education and Community,” in Democracy, Education, and the Schools, Roger Stone, pg. 92.

(3) Developing Democratic Character in the Young, pg. 165

(4) Address to the Childhood International Education Seminar, 1973

 

14 Responses to State Preschool Should be Vigorously Opposed

  • Debbie says:

    I taught third grade in the public schools for three years before becoming a stay at home mom. I have had kids in public, private and home school. One size does not fit all and the government thinking they have all the answers is absurd. Also, many young children are really not ready to be away from home at 5 or 6 let alone earlier. Common core and federal run preschools, are not about helping children. They are about power hungry leaders who want to destroy individual freedom and socialize America. I hope that more and more parents will become educated on these issues and realize what is happening.

  • Jody Murphy says:

    Oh brother, more far-right doomsday predictions. Truth is, disadvantaged children who lack preschool, end up having a much higher incarceration rate than their advantaged counterparts. The state is not looking to take them out of their homes, just trying to give them some hope and help.

  • Jan Irwin says:

    I strongly believe our children should be cared for and taught by their parents during these formative years. This idea of taking our children from us is terribly damaging to the family and parent relationship. There are many important lessons they learn the first five to seven years. Most important is the love and bond between us with our children. All four of my children had basic reading and math understanding before five, from learning and understanding the things I did with them. They also had an understanding of trust and right from wrong, of love and individuality. These are things the government wants to stop. These are the things that help children know they are important and have a unique place in the family and the world. We must stop the government from taking our children. Reading and math are not the most important things our young children should be learning. Their Divine nature and individual worth are the priority, and a mother is the one to give them these things. Young children are not meant to be in a group! They are learning who they are as individuals.

  • D. Miller says:

    I worked in our local school district for over 23 years. I had conversations with many parents and teachers over that time. There was one parent I recall who worked as a psychologist for a daycare in Orem. She told me about a “pre-school” pilot program being tried out and how it was a miserable failure and that the children did nothing, but cry all day because they were taken from their mothers (parents) so early in the morning and were disoriented much of the time wondering where their mothers were. She mentioned a professor at BYU who believed that kids could wait until 9 years old before they entered public school, that they would do much better having had the solid foundation of that bonding relationship with parents and family. I agree. As for Jodi, what age are you talking about? One year old? Two, Three, Four years old? I’d like you to give references for your assertions. I don’t believe one word of it.

  • Jan Irwin says:

    Jody, if you want to send your children to daycare it should be up to you, not the government or state. We have visited many countries where children are taken from their parents at one and two years old. In my opinion, that is a horrible thing to do to a child or a parent. If the state is not trying take them out of the home why do they make it mandatory? And it will come to that, Our freedom is what has made this country great, We are losing it little by little, What our children are taught in school by the government today is what our future leaders will legislate,

  • Mary Lynn Peterson says:

    I am a retired kindergarten teacher who taught 15 years in the public school system. I have traveled abroad and observed in schools which have public funding for early childhood education beginning as early as 2 and 3 years of age. I strongly feel that we currently have a the best system in place for our young children. Head Start is an excellent publically funded program which addresses the needs of children at risk. The vast majority young children should NOT be pressured into formal learning at such a young age. The best possible learning environment for young children before the age of 5 is in a loving home where parents demonstrate by their example that they value gaining knowledge and education. Our federal government should be funding and empowering our Head Start program and not pushing further into our lives.

  • Angela Johnson says:

    Just another way to spend our tax dollars. Anyone who is conservative should not wish for this. We don’t need the government getting even more involved in our children’s lives! And stop spending!

  • Susan Wilcox says:

    We have enough monetary problems unsolved by EITHER local, district, or state boards. We do not need this on their plate too. Children need to be be REARED by parents who made them for at LEAST those 5 years before school begins in Kindergarten. It is STRANGE, but many home-schooled children are MORE SUCCESSFUL in their education through parents than we ever can do through our schools. Why is that? Good parents, I suppose, will always keep their child home and care for them and teach them. But we are not ready in this economy to add anything to an already POOR system in Utah. You can’t ask MORE of teachers and principals. They are already OVERWORKED. Stop this dreaming and face the reality of problems STILL unsolved in our current system. Get that right before trying to start yet a new addition.
    NO PRE-SCHOOL – Parents – DO YOUR JOBS. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN, from at least 0-5….

  • Rachel says:

    I get the point of the “underprivileged” kids needing help, that is not what this issue is. It is the government control over not just those kids, but everyone’s kids. Saying that those of us that are educated parents are not suitable for raising our own children. But with all do respect, in the “underprivileged” situation usually the parent is not doing their job in the first place, that’s usually why a “state ” or the Feds have to get involved. That doesn’t apply to the rest of us. Unfortunately having a child does not mean you are a parent. Parent is the job you do, not a biological thing. The word “parent” is very much a VERB, an action word, as my 6 year old would say. Many of us CHOSE to stay at home to raise our own children and are doing their parental job & a very good one at that, even if it is a financial sacrifice. That was a price I was willing to pay for my children. Why should this be imposed on us who are raising our kids just fine the old fashioned way with attention, love, values, respect, & discipline. Everyone wonders why kids today are so messed up in the head??? There’s something our parents did that most today are not doing. Day Care & Preschool didn’t even exist when I was a kid, we were all raised by our mothers. I stayed home & gave up a successful career to raise my babies myself, not pay someonelse to do it for me or send them off. My daughter still isn’t used to going to school all day in 1st grade. She sometimes cries because she wants to come home. My kids don’t have these behavioral problems like seen from the result of early daycare which is very obvious when helping in her classroom. Why is that? Because they were with me & got the 1 on 1 attention they needed & deserved. And I get looked at as a horrible parent depriving my kid of education? Funny my kid knew everything taught in kindergarten when she was 2-3, just by doing everyday things and activities with me. But since I was not a preschool they wouldn’t take my advice that she was ready to start kindergarten just before she turned 5. She had to wait another year. So now she’s stuck in 1st grade when even 2nd & some 3rd grade is easy for her. So I have to keep her challenged with activities at home on her level so she doesn’t lose interest in learning new things, rather than going over what she already knows. But according to the government, us parents must ALL be incapable & stupid!

  • Scott says:

    First and foremost, I respect every parent’s right to raise their children with the values, morals, ethics of their choice and religion to which they belong. Sadly, I feel like this policy is being strongly misconstrued and misunderstood. Early education and high quality preschool is not about taking children away from their parents, indoctrinating children to someone else’s values, or secularizing society. It is about providing opportunity to all children, it is about caring “for the least of these.” For anyone who wants to understand this issue better, please listen to this radio episode from Planet Money. It explains why pre kindergarten is so valuable, and why it can help the poorest among us have a chance at success. It also explains how it reduces government spending and creates more tax paying, law-abiding citizens. It is an amazing 20 minute broadcast.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/10/19/163256866/episode-411-why-preschool-can-save-the-world

    Please, don’t see Pre-kindergarten as a threat. The point is to educate all children early, in soft skills of how to be a good person. For those people thinking it is a way to take away your god given right to educate your children, please, don’t see this as a threat. Instead, offer your incredible upbring to other, less advantaged children in your neighborhood. Start a pre-kindergarten program based on your faith, but invite everyone to be a part of it. The point is not to take anyone’s children away from them, but to give ALL children a strong foundation for life.

  • AnissaW says:

    If you really look into educational documents and you begin to spider off into the many elements that education covers you will see that there were well-meaning ideas that were changed to create programs vastly different from the original intent. When you look at the preschool and early childhood programs that are being considered and drafted and all the entanglements that go along with it, you will realize that these ideas of helping the poor are just a way in to be able to get a hold of every child the government can reach. This is not just an hour or two search, the information presented in the article and all the supporting documents were likely hundreds of hours. I believe there is a place for preschool and head start, but the programs that are being implemented and considered will be placed in a system that is not currently ready to handle it because of contradicting rules and laws and definitions within those rules and laws not to mention the fact that with the entanglements that the federal government is trying to push, our children’s personal information is the catalyst for many if not most of the programs and new legislation that is coming through our state and federal legislators and education offices. Like I mentioned earlier, there may be good intentions to some of these things early on, however, it is NOT the role of the government to take care of the children, that is the parents role. I encourage those who read the articles here on this site to really delve deep into what is taking place in education, there is a great deal more going on behind our backs that on the surface looks okay until you really dig deep. Don’t be fooled, Parents are our best resources.

    • Susie says:

      And parents choosing a private preschool for various reasons should always remain a choice. This article was not about all the wonderful programs which help children before kindergarten. Many children need extra help outside their parents’ expertise or need extra social venues. Many of these needs can be met with private programs or co-op neighborhood preschools. Special needs care funded by the state is already in place to help those who need it the most. This article was about state-run, state-tracked, Common Core aligned, state-funded, adding to the tax payer burden type of preschool for each and every child. Many parents will flock to it because it’s free daycare. The govt likes it because they have earlier access to children and a reason to raise taxes. The parent loses once in a lifetime opportunities to bond with their kids by playing, reading, cooking, teaching and spending more time with them before school to instill values. If there is an easy, free, everyone-is-doing-it answer, I guarantee many more young children will be away from homes, and parents will not take the time to come up with better solutions because the govt is eager and willing to take the “burden” of child rearing off of our shoulders. The next step will be mandatory preschool. The next step will be younger ages leaving the home. Don’t look at this one step in the process….look at the direction and pattern of where this leads the child, the family, and the scope and size of unconstitutional govt.

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