Monday, April 14, 2008

Have You Heard About This?

You know, many months ago I was sort of half-joking about how the NEA would soon be sending representatives to meet newborns and their parents at the hospital, since many of their resolutions state an intention to get involved with teaching from birth on:

They will not be happy until parents are signing their kids up for government education programs at the hospital after the baby is born.

Well, at least one presidential candidate is on the plan:

Barack Obama's Plan

Early Childhood Education

Zero to Five Plan: Obama's comprehensive "Zero to Five" plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Unlike other early childhood education plans, Obama's plan places key emphasis at early care and education for infants, which is essential for children to be ready to enter kindergarten. Obama will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state "zero to five" efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school. (emphasis mine)

Hmm. Combine a program like this with the attitude that "real" education can only be provided by a credentialed (expert) teacher, and pretty soon the government won't permit us parents to ensure that our kids learn to walk and talk!

Oh, and add in the notion that homeschooling parents--and nearly ALL parents of infants would be considered homeschoolers in this context--should be reporting our children's academic progress to someone in the government (I mean, it's so obvious, isn't it?), so that we can be "overseen" by those omniscient experts. . . . Well, the logical progression is that there will one day come a time when we'll need to send in weekly or monthly progress reports to our local government experts, detailing the progress of little Janie's pincer grasp or babbling skills.


3 comments: said...

Ugh, that's scary. How about we start foreign language listening while the baby is still in the womb? Daily lessons via headphone. You can't get started soon enough.

Rational Jenn said...

Oh no! This baby is going to have his intellectual growth stunted because he hasn't been listening to Mozart in utero! He gets to hear me talk talk talk (raise my voice) talk talk all day long to the other children though. That should count for something--right? RIGHT?

Allergy Mom said...

Ok, I'll play devil's advocate. (Dangerous, I know, since this is your area of expertise!) I am a big fan of early development programs. The earlier that developmental problems are diagnosed and a child receives treatment/therapy, etc., the better the chances are that the impact will be eliminated or minimized. As an example, my four year old son has serious fine motor problems. He's been in occupational therapy since he was eighteen months old. Now he is able to write his name. If his neurological problems had not been recognized until now, he would be severely impacted academically, and would be struggling to keep up in pre-K, instead of being ahead of grade level. When he was younger, we were able to get most of our son's physical and occupational therapy paid for by "Early Steps," our state's voluntary program for 0-3 year olds.

One of the problems that early development programs have is reaching lower income children, whose parents are more in need free services, but are either suspicious or unaware of what is available. To me, that is one of the critical components, making sure that the services remain voluntary, but have effective outreach to parents of children who need them.

These programs are also a very effective use of taxpayers' dollars, since treating developmental problems early reduces the need for more extensive and less effective treatments later, as well as allowing the child to grow up to be a more productive individual.

I'll stop now before I overload your comment section. I'm looking forward to your response! Libby