Education activists, including the community organizer in the White House, look at the ruin that public education has become and want to expand it. “We in this country have massive inequality in pre-school education,” Lisa Guernsey of the New America Foundation said at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education yesterday.
Consequently, Guernsey and the NAF support the Obama Administration’s pre-school initiative, due to cost $75 billion spread out over the next decade and be funded by a 94 cent tax on cigarettes. Guernsey’s talk was sponsored by the American Educational Research Association.
She admits that pre-school seems to be widely available but questions whether it is genuinely educational. Guernsey notes that “30-40 percent of three- to four-year olds are in early head start or a state-funded program.”
As well, she observes that, according to self-reported data from taxpayers to the IRS, “75 percent of parents self-report private pre-school education.” Yet and still, Guernsey is concerned that this umbrella description includes top-notch child care programs with first-rate educational aspects as well as what she calls the “holding pens” for children too many child care centers have become.
Interestingly, although both Guernsey and NAF support the Obama Administration’s Common Core education reforms, both believe they will be difficult to implement. “The kindergarten standards are difficult to meet,” Guernsey said at the Monday meeting.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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