"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Anti-Common Core Website from Arizona

Another anti-common core group springs up.  Arizonans Against Common Core:




Welcome to the Arizonans Against Common Core website. This site is dedicated to giving you the information you need about Common Core and what it means for you and your child, your wallet, and your freedom as a parent or an educator.


Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initative (CCSSI), as it is known at the AZ State and Federal level, is a set of national education standards that will replace the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, through a waiver system. (The NCLB Act was put into into place by Congress in 2001 and signed into law by President George W. Bush). Our state, like many other states, was failing to meet the NCLB Act requirements and, therefore, wanted something to replace NCLB.
AZ adopted the CCSSI for English Language Arts and Math Standards in June 2010 and started implementing them across the state. To find out more details on AZ Implementation of Common Core, visit the "When did AZ Join?" webpage link.

Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) are not state standards in the first place, and are nothing more then further federalization of our state education systems. It has been the goal of federal education departments for decades to further control state education of our children through federal standards, and to take education out of the hands of the parents and put it to "the state," or under federal control. This has been done at a rapid pace through "school to work" and "college readiness" programs. To read further on these programs visit our College Readiness link here.
"Educators have described Common Core as 'No Child Left Behind' (NCLB) on steriods! In layman's terms, the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is a set of National K-12 standards developed primarily by a nonprofit called Achieve, Inc., in Washington, D.C. under the auspices of the National Governor's Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). These Common Core Standards were developed without state legislative authority." Go here for the Common Core "Quick Facts Sheet."
States were hooked into the Common Core movement with Race-to-the-Top (RTTT) grants they applied for in 2009-2010, and with that application, they were allowed to apply for "No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Waivers" if they adopted the CCSSI verbatim! Subsequently, each state was allowed to add 15% to these federal standards under the Common Core 15% Rule only after they adopted these CCSSI standards verbatim. Read more on the "State Adoption of the Common Core: the Standards 15 Percent Rule" here.
For more details on "Who is Behind" the Common Core implementation in the States visit the "Common Core Federal Standards Initiative- How is it implemented in our 'States?'" flowchart and the "Who is Behind Common Core?" webpage link.


If you would like to Become a member of the "Arizonans Against Common Core" team and help us educate Arizona residents about Common Core, please e-mail Our website coordinator at AZSchoolChoice at cox.net


* HB2318- Federal exemption for schools that do not except Federal funding. Urge Representatives to VOTE YES.
HB2047- PARCC-to-AIMS Transition- Passed in the House. Urge Senators to VOTE NO in the Senate.
SB1450- FERPA protection. Urge Senators to VOTE YES.


Missouri Coalition Against Common Core welcomes this group to the fight against Common Core State (sic) Standards.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Freedom vs Common Core State (sic) Standards

I received this excellent video showing what Common Core State (sic) Standards are really all about from Paul Bogush at Blogush.edublogs.org:

You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note. - Vimeo

15 hours ago – Don't think you're on the right road just because it's a well-beaten path.


I will be told (how to teach the standards and when to teach the standards) by people who have never met my kids....

....and by people who have never taught in a classroom.
Watch the children singing.  Are we still "land of the Pilgrims' pride"?  13 years of continuous testing set by private companies doesn't sound like educational freedom to me.  Does it to you?

You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note. from Paul Bogush on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Third Consortia Emerging in Common Core State (sic) Standards

Another private organization jumps into the public/private partnership to take over public school educational delivery/education:

From Reuters.com:

New ACT Assessment System to be Named ACT Aspire(TM)
 System Will Better Connect Assessment to Teaching and Learning

IOWA CITY, Iowa-ACT, Inc., the nonprofit leader in college and career readiness assessment, today announced new details about its upcoming "next generation" assessment system. The new program, which will span elementary grades through high school, will be called ACT Aspire.
Development of ACT Aspire was initially announced in July and is ongoing. The goal of the system will be to provide educators, parents and students with the insights they need to help students get and stay on track for college and career readiness starting early in their academic careers by better connecting assessment, teaching and learning.

"We have drawn on our decades of experience and data to create a breakthrough assessment system designed to help students stay on target to reach their full potential throughout their educational journey," said Jon Erickson, ACT's president of education.  "ACT Aspire is the first digital, longitudinal assessment system that will provide the actionable information students, parents and educators need to measure and improve student performance from early elementary to high school."
"ACT Aspire is the first product that will embody ACT's new vision and strategic direction," said Jon Whitmore, ACT's chief executive officer. "As students today require more effective tools to compete, ACT is the organization that is best positioned to guide students to achieve success from kindergarten through career."

ACT is an independent, nonprofit organization with a 53-year history of generating data-driven assessments and research. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, and with offices throughout the world, ACT is trusted for its continual development of next-generation assessments that determine college and career readiness and provide the most advanced measure of workplace skills. To learn more about ACT, go to www.act.org.

Ed Colby, ACT Public Relations
319.337.1147; ed.colby@act.org

Read more here.

It's just another consortia joining SBAC and PARCC.  The wealth needs to be spread around.  It won't mean a thing for educational improvement.  It's just another money making venture.  Will your state be moving to ACT?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Common Core State (sic) Standards

"Whoo Hoo!" The word that started a revolution in opting out of Common Core State (sic) Standards testing.

Susan Ohanian writing in the Daily Censored Whoo-Hoo! Occupy the Schools! about Common Core State (sic) Standards, details how the standards are not state led, a vehicle to establish a Global Work Force, funded primarily by Bill Gates, bipartisan in nature and a quest for a national curriculum/national test:

In response to a poverty rate that tops 90% in many urban and rural schools –and 1.6 million homeless children—many in schools with no libraries–education reformers at the White House, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Governors Association call for a radical, untried curriculum overhaul and two versions of nonstop national testing to measure whether teachers are producing workers for the Global Economy.

They call this upheaval the Common Core State (sic) Standards (CCSS) and there are two things to remember: The Common Core did not originate with the states and it is speculative and experimental–in a word, cuckoo. I use the (sic) in its title because putting the word “state” in there is a political move, a public relations ploy. Learning from President Bill Clinton’s failure to get the national test he wanted, corporate leaders and their political allies try to keep this school remake as distant from the White House as possible, insisting over and over that it’s a “grassroots initiative” –what the people asked for. Every time they say this, the press repeats it. The Common Core reality is about as far from Mom and apple pie as a zombie invasion.

The Gates connection and funding is stunning and who can deny the fact that this money is driving the current educational reform?

The Common Core State (sic) Standards are the result of hundreds of millions of dollars disbursed in carefully distributed grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation accompanied by the threat from U. S. Secretary Arne Duncan to withhold federal funds if individual states did not sign on the dotted line. I looked at two months worth of press citations praising the CCSS –August and September, 2012–and then looked up the Gates money given to those who come to praise CCSS. The list ranges from the American Federation of Teachers ($1,000,000) to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction ($823,637), from the neo-liberal Center for American Progress ($2,998,809) to the neo-conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute ($5,711,462). The PTA got money ($2,005,000); so did the National Writing Project ($2,645,593). And so on and so on. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and with money in their pockets, many are eager to sing the Common Core song and eat the funeral meats.

Although these groups all play a cheerleading role, here are the significant players in deforming school curriculum and testing and their Gates haul.

• Achieve, Inc.: $25,787,051
• The Council of Chief State School Officers: $71,302,833
• National Governors Association Center for Best Practices: $30,679,116

Chief architects of the literacy content for the Common Core content are a lawyer and David Coleman, an education entrepreneur. Coleman gained the most notoriety as he barnstormed the country preaching the importance of nonfiction and a bastardized form of New Criticism, a literary theory abandoned long ago by just about everybody except Mr. Coleman. In his presentation at the New York State Education Building in April 2011, Coleman declared that teachers must tell students: “When you grow up in this world you realize people don’t give a shit about what you feel or what you think.” Student Achievement Partners, an outfit Coleman co-founded is now churning out Common Core curriculum. They’re bankrolled by $6,533,350 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and $18,000,000 from the General Electric Foundation. Coleman has moved on to head the College Board ($31,178,497 in Gates funds).

My state education department in Vermont urged every teacher to watch a video produced by the Council of Great City Schools ($8,496,854 from Gates) in which Coleman offers advice to the student who reads several grade levels below the complex text assigned to his class: “You’re going to practice it again and again and again and again. . . so there’s a chance you can finally do that level of work.”
Gates is taking advantage of the bipartisan push for this reform and the Federal Government's involvement in these Common Core State (sic) Standards:

Lots of school watchers believe the sole purpose of the Common Core State (sic) Standards is to drive the national test which has been on the corporate agenda for more than two decades. Although the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid for the CCSS, the new, super-duper assessments traveling with those standards are funded by you and me. The U. S. Department of Education gave $335 million to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop computer-based tests for grades 3-12. They both plan a lot of testing, and costs of hardware and software requirements, of rewiring school buildings and buying computers that meet the specifications are on the backs of local taxpayers. The Florida state department of education recently announced an infusion of nearly half a billion dollars to develop the necessary technology infrastructure capable of delivering the tests. New York City estimates the same amount.

Although hubris seems to drive Bill Gates’ education reform ideology, it is no surprise that his foundation would find the Common Core’s huge reliance on technology attractive. Technology and the desire to put schools under the oversight and domination of a national test also motivated education reformers in September 1989, when President George H.W. Bush convened a meeting in Charlottesville, Va., for the first-ever National Education Summit. Teachers were also absent from that meeting, Instead, IBM CEO Lou Gerstner joined hands with Arkansas governor Bill Clinton to lead the effort. Gerstner and his Business Roundtable cronies got to name the problem and define the solution, which was a relabeled Business Roundtable plan calling for school choice, competition, and a massive infusion of technology. It was signed into federal law as America 2000. When it morphed into Goals 2000, President Clinton was foiled in his attempt to add a national test. Then came No Child Left Behind under President Bush the Younger and Race to the Top and the Common Core under President Obama. With each residency change at the White House, the name of ed reform has changed and the content has become more destructive to the needs of public schools and the children in them.

Ohanian provides information on how Common Core State (sic) Standards impact children.  When these theories and untested standards/assessments are used on real human beings, the results are injurious to children.

Read the entire article here and discover why "whoohoo" may be the battlecry against the educational reformers and the spark which started a parental revolt against Common Core State (sic) Standards.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Common Core Crashing in Florida?


From Bob Sikes in Scathing Purple Musings:

In the aftermath of yesterday’s caution delivered by education commissioner Tony Bennett that Florida needed to prepare itself for Plan B  on implementation of Common Core Standards and it’s PARCC assessments, Jeb Bush’s education foundation acquiesced.

Read more here,

Sikes writes politicians are using the word "implode" when speaking about common core.  Dare we hope?

Anti-Common Core Legislation in South Dakota

From truthinamericaneducation.com:

The South Dakota House Education Committee advanced another anti-Common Core bill on an 8 to 7 vote last Friday.  House Bill 1204 would require the South Dakota Board of Education to obtain legislative approval before adopting any further Common Core standards, and to repeal a provision requiring the board to conduct certain public hearings.

...State Representative Bolan who authored the bill said, “One of the founding principles of American education is that states and local citizens will determine how their schools are going to be run and what will be taught in each local entity.  The Common Core Standards movement is an attempt to circumvent this long-standing tradition of American education. The adoption of the standards threatens to undo a portion of American Exceptionalism.”

Read more here.

Common Core: What is the Political Significance?

Mark Garrison writes in The Case for Examining the Political Significance of the Common Core:

For the first time in American history, states have reportedly adopted a common “understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.”[1] States have joined one of two assessment “consortia” developed to assess achievement of the goals embodied by those standards[2]. Taken as a whole, this is known as the Common Core State Standards Initiative. In fact, in the year 2007, there was no talk of common core standards, and previous attempts and developing “national standards” (e.g., promoted by Diane Ravitch) had been deemed “politically dead”. Six years later, such standards have not only been developed, they have been adopted by all but five states (Texas, Virginia, Alaska, Nebraska, Minnesota). Now a frenzied effort by a host of interconnected private interests and public officials are revamping K12 curriculum and assessment like never before.

Few would have predicted that early in the 21st century the United States would adopt something resembling a national curriculum, given its long standing commitment to “local control” and “state’s rights.” Of course, there is a long history to the increasing involvement of the federal government in education, dating all the way back to the Morrill Act, Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act, National Education Defense Act, not to mention Civil Rights rulings and legislation, and the recent saga in the growing federal role, No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

Yet, I do believe that the CCSSI is more “revolution” than “evolution.” Such broad support from a variety of quarters for something anathema to the American creed is intriguing. The development suggests a radical change in the roles of federal, state and non-public entities in governing education.

Garrison asks the fundamental question in the reason and implication of the adoption of CCSS:

Official press releases, news and commentary about the CCSSI remains narrowly focused on whether or not, and mostly how, this initiative will improve education. Much attention is being paid to certain technical details of implementation, and getting “everyone on board.” And for the most part, critics of the CCSSI simply argue that the initiative will not improve the quality of schooling in the United State.

Despite the obvious shift in how schools are governed, few seem to entertain the governance question. What is missing, then, is an analysis of how the CCSSI affects and reflects changes in governance — not just of education, but governance in general. Put differently, even if the CCSSI fails to improve the quality of education, what lasting changes in the United States system of governance have already taken place as a result of the CCSSI? Has decision making power over curriculum and assessment changed? Who now holds that power? What is the political significance of these changes? What is the significance of such change occurring through the restructuring of public education? What functions was public education to perform and how are these functions changed with the arrival of the CCSSI?

This is one of the most insightful and important articles on CCSS and the political ramifications of its adoption and implementation.  He delves into the possibility the USDOED has engaged in making laws, not a function which it is entitled to perform.  He writes:

Maybe the federal government used (illegally) its power to remove components of the governance of public schools from public authorities at both the federal and state levels?

Thus, one preoccupation will be to isolate the role of the USDOE and other federal authorities in bringing about the CCSSI and how these roles change federal power and influence.
Read the article here.  He entertains questions about the role of public/private partnerships and the changing power structures in education.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The True Goal of Common Core?

Happiness and Mental Health as decided by the State.

From invisibleserfs.com and Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies: Is This Really Mental Health First-Aid?:

Now some people were relieved and others alarmed since the conflict-laden CCSSO (look at who sponsors it to see what I mean. Hello tech companies and accreditors!) was a co-sponsor of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. And CCSSI is what the states have adopted supposedly to make content consistent. Might P21 influence the implementation? Yes. See previous post. Now we know this CCSSO interest group of the top ed officials from each state have also sponsored several other troubling initiatives that are clearly warping what the classroom implementation will look like. There’s that C3 Social Studies Framework to impact curricula and assessments and give students false beliefs to practice filtering reality through during their school years. There’s CCSSO’s work with the Asia Society on Global Competence and with Harvard’s Project Zero. PZ is also doing Global Citizenship work for IB as you may remember. And saying both its IB and CCSSO work can just go by the name Global Consciousness. Just call me “Robin Reads A Lot.”

We are going to talk about Consciousness in this post. Cultivating it with the desired concepts and filtering metaphors and desired values, attitudes, and beliefs. For a collective, common-good primary orientation. And actively manipulating it when the Mind that Came from Home has undesired beliefs and is too independent. Maybe they deny an Obligation to All Humanity or maybe their dad is a Physics prof wondering how it is Science to have no interest in actual data that is inconsistent with the hypothesis that increasing carbon dioxide because of man’s activities must lead to catastrophic consequences.

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/01/09/0956797612452864.full.pdf+html is an article published recently  in Psychological Science by some Stanford profs (do you think they know Paul Ehrlich or Bandera or Roy Pea or Linda Darling-Hammond?) discovering that interdependent action and awareness is not such a good motivator in Western countries, especially the US. This research was funded by our ubiquitous and increasingly interested in our personal behavior and changing it federal agency–the National Science Foundation. The article closes like this:

“For interdependent action to become chronically motivating, it needs to be valued and promoted in American worlds and by American selves to the same extent as independence is. Until interdependence is more consistently and effectively represented in the ideas, practices, products, and institutions–that is, the culture of the American mainstream, successfully encouraging the perspective that our destiny is “stitched together” may require invoking independent behavior to achieve interdependent ends.”

Of course American children need to learn to be interdependent with/on one another in "common" core.  If the desire is to be "stitched together" then a "common" curriculum must guide this process.  (And please, no comments that we won't have a national curriculum and districts are free to choose their own.  The curriculum has to be tailored to the assessments so why teach traditional math when all the problems are reform math based?)

Common Core is a construct of behavior/learning for students to be trained in for the state's desired means.  Note the definition of construct:

An idea or theory containing various conceptual elements, typically one considered to be subjective and not based on empirical evidence.

That's CCSS in a nutshell.  No field testing of standards/assessments and reliance on group learning/group think.  What does the writer believe the state's desired means is via interdependent learning and focus on behavioral learning vs academic learning?

Then there is PATHS which those Scots had turned to. PATHS is more than 2 decades old and is considered an ABCD model for the classroom–the affective/behavioural/cognitive/dynamic model of development–”placing primary importance on the developmental integration of affect, the vocabulary of emotion and cognitive understanding as they relate to social and emotional competence.” PATHS is not just for deficit urban areas although that is where it was researched on children and still gets used. See Cleveland last week.  http://www.air.org/files/Avoid_Simple_Solutions_and_Quick_Fixes_Osher_January_2013.pdf .

PATHS also gets promoted now by the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention. And we know from an Ed Week article from a few weeks ago “Making Mental Health Part of the School Safety Solution” that all these SEL curricula are to be used as Mental Health First-Aid, supposedly to make the chances of another Sandy Hook or Columbine less likely.  Long-time readers know Colorado and CT are awash in SEL and other change the student’s personality and have been for a long time.

Why does it always come back to personality development? Beyond the clear connection to Uncle Karl’s aspirations for “creating something that has never yet existed”? I found 3 different passages from 3 sources to be stunningly illuminating on what is really going on. The first came from an essay on “The Changing Vision of Education”:

“We want the concepts, values, and skills of global education to be learned in a deep and genuine way that becomes part of each learner’s repertoire for acting in the world. As David Elkind says, once growth by integration has been accomplished, it is difficult–if not impossible–to break it down.”

Remember that mention of what Growth means because that is the new measure of the effectiveness of what happens in classrooms. Is student growth occurring? And there is nothing coincidental about the use of that term. I know because the 1976 book Schooling in Capitalist America spent a great deal of time describing the vision for “balanced human development for fostering general human fulfillment and growth.”  It’s a vision they said was consistent with the “development of a revolutionary socialist movement in the United States.” They were hoping to use education institutions, “social theory, and concrete political practice” to get most of their vision in place without violence. In their “Strategies for Social Change” passage the authors remind us of why educational institutions are so important.

“socialism is not an event. The consciousness developed in struggle is the very same consciousness which, for better or worse, will guide the process of socialist development itself.”

And they want that consciousness to become widespread among citizens. Now won’t those ill-structured performance assessments grounded in real-life problems be an excellent means of creating that consciousness? Since socialism is seen by its advocates as a State of Mind. One grounded in emotion. Certainly makes all the deliberate cultivation of false beliefs and mentions of filtering lenses to be practiced with in activities at school make far more sense. It is also consistent with a speech Linda Darling-Hammond gave  about 2009 where she giddily and unwisely mentioned that the Common Core was really about social and emotional learning. That content was just something to practice those behaviors on. The latter point can be clearly seen in documents I have where the continuous improvement is to be in desired behaviors, not knowledge.

We really are being scammed here on the difference between rhetoric and reality. And the sought goals behind closed doors could not be more Transformational. Luckily for us behaving as Miss Marple Who Reads A Lot has been a tremendous source of relevant info.

What is the desired behavior for the state and the managed economy/workforce the globalists such as Bill Gates and Linda Darling-Hammond want us to exhibit?  Happiness.  You must base learning in emotion and train students what makes them happy in an interdependent fashion, not individualistic, and their happiness lies within that framework.  Happiness is no longer set by the individual, it is prescribed by the state in what makes a person happy.

Remember I have mentioned the UN came out with a World Happiness Report in 2012 trying to get us all primed for transitioning to Quality of Life Societies where our happiness consists in the Wellbeing of All? Yes Kumbayah. Well its co-author, Richard Layard, gave a speech in March 2012 called “Mental health: the new frontier for the Welfare State.” It’s on pdf and youtube.  (You can access it here.)

Which I would suggest puts the idea of Mental Health First-Aid as a daily part of every classroom in a whole new, and apt, light. 21st Century Political power for a desired welfare state. Everywhere.
The article may be read here.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Is Lack of Universal Preschool the Reason For Poverty?

Or is it that children need fathers?

The call for universal preschool programming has created an avalanche of comments from academics, politicians and the citizens paying for these programs.

Gail Collins in the NY Times supports increased spending.  From The State of the 4-Year-Olds:

One of the big moments of the State of the Union address was President Obama’s call for “high-quality preschool” for 4-year-olds.

Nobody was happier at the idea than Walter Mondale, the former vice president. “This is going to be wonderful,” he said in a phone conversation. His delight was sort of inspiring.

In 1971, when he was a senator, Mondale led the Congressional drive to make quality preschool education available to every family in the United States that wanted it. Everybody. The federal government would set standards and provide backup services like meals and medical and dental checkups. Tuition would depend on the family’s ability to pay. 

And it passed! Then Richard Nixon vetoed it, claiming Congress was proposing “communal approaches to child rearing.” Now, 42 years later, working parents of every economic level scramble madly to find quality programs for their preschoolers, while the waiting lines for poor families looking for subsidized programs stretch on into infinity. 

And President Obama is trying, against great odds, to do something for 4-year-olds. 

Collins believes it is the government's role to provide programming for all children, especially for those who are not wealthy and don't get the language and reasoning skills present in those families.  She quotes Mondale speaking about  his proposal in 1971:

“We came up with a lot of proposals, but the one we were most excited about was early childhood education. Everything we learned firmed up the view this really works,” said Mondale.  

We now know that it doesn't really work from the Head Start study which followed the program and its results from 2000-2012.  Any progress made has disappeared by 3rd grade and some children exhibit worse social/emotional behavior than those children not served by preschool programs.

Collins writes:

A child born to poor parents has a pathetic chance of growing up to be anything but poor. This isn’t the way things were supposed to be in the United States. But here we are. 

How are things supposed to be in the United States?  That's a fundamental question.  Are we allowed the freedom to make our choices in this country that lead to failure and/or success or is our government supposed to provide all our needs (whatever they may be) regardless of our choices?

A reader replies to Collins:

As a 58 year old woman who was born poor, I disagree with the statement "a child born to poor parents has a pathetic chance of growing up to be anything but poor"

Many come to our shores legally and otherwise wise for better economic opportunity. They don't come with pockets full of money. They come with hunger in their gut for success and many do 'make it'. Will they be the next Donald Trump? Probably not.

Growing up in a family of 8 children I learned that you did not spend .15 on a coke, that money may be needed for milk for the baby. I also learned that having holes in the bottom of your shoes only meant wet socks. No tragedy or poverty.

When I was old enough I left home, joined the Army and earned an education. Now nearing retirement I am confidant that my husband and i can enjoy retirement because of careful choices and investment.

I cannot think that we have reached a point where opportunity is stagnant.
If so, then we have met the enemy, and he is us.

She doesn't buy into the idea that people cannot control their own destiny.  She describes choices and lessons for life which enabled her to lead a successful life.  She did not stay in poverty and rejects the idea it is a life sentence of misery and doesn't mention the need for a preschool program as a benchmark for success.  Another reader writes:

Advances in preschool to be beneficial need to be continued and supported by children's families......I teach in Head Start...parents need to take responsibilty..Head Start offers that but and that is the question..

These commentors both mention the necessary roles of families for successful outcomes for children.  They received few "recommended" scores while the comments imploring for more spending and "let's do it for the kids" overwhelming were highly supported.  

Troy Robinson in the article Gail Collins, how much do you really care about children in poverty? published in The Aquila Report sets forth the premise that children find themselves in poverty because of the break down of the family vs the lack of universal preschool:

She is really concerned about growing poverty and a permanent under class. Applause. As a Christian, I am too. But what, Ms. Collins, what is the most basic reason for why children find themselves in poverty to begin with? Do you know or just refuse to care enough about the kids to say it publicly? (Hint: it ain’t the lack of pre-k education; there was hardly such a thing before that 40 year period you refer to). It’s the breakdown of the traditional family, like it or not. Now what will you do with that fact? Will you publicly promote the traditional family for the sake of children, or will your concern for them be effectively capped by an ideological pre-commitment?

Perhaps supporting a government program, however effective, will be enough to appease your guilt. But if you didn’t know before, I’m telling you now, the breakdown of the traditional family is the main cause by far of poverty, a well-established fact in the social science literature. What’s family breakdown? You know, the nice liberal gift we have been unwrapping for that same 40 year period you are so concerned about, in which the whole notion that certain family and sexual arrangements are to be morally preferred, supported, and politically promoted over others has been identified as totally unnecessary and even hate speech. And while celebrating the disappearance of any taboos and producing a culture uncritically accepting of any conceivable family arrangement, the unmistakable linkage of poverty (and crime, drop-outs, depression, drug-use, health, etc.) with family breakdown among our kids is simply ignored. 
Read the entire article here.

Will universal preschool solve the problem of the breakdown of the family?  Will a government run program be an acceptable substitute for parental responsibility and training?  What IS the ultimate goal of universal preschool and will it provide the emotional and social basics that parent(s) cannot provide and support in the home?

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