The Obama Administration announced today in a Twitter chat that is has decided to expand public education from K-12 to include Early Childhood Services. Obama is ready to reward states that meet “quality benchmarks” like state-level standards for early learning, qualified teachers (union) for all preschool classrooms, and of course a plan to implement comprehensive data and assessment systems.
Expansion of public education makes a whole lot of sense since the government is already doing such a bang-up job providing quality K-12 academics, healthcare and IRS audits.
“RT if you agree that every child in America should have access to a high-quality early education,” Tweeted White House Communication staffers under the Twitter hashtag #PreKForAll.
I couldn’t agree more. All children should have access to a high quality early education; hence the more the reason to keep the federal government out of it.
Name one federal program that is providing high quality of any type of service to all children in the country?
I hear crickets chirping.
Legislators in Colorado have already showed us what the “less is more” motto looks like when they passed an additional 96 pages of regulations in attempt to reduce regulations for preschools. These new laws banned whole milk for preschoolers, require a certain percentage of “ethnic dolls” in dollhouses, and mandates state reports of how many crayons per child the daycare provider offers. And preschools like Montessori have to get state board approvals to operate in Colorado if they use wooden stools or puzzles, because these are just too much of a safety risk.
It begs the question: “What is the role of fed government in early childhood education?”
Indeed, Parent Led Reform, an organization that projects parental power into education reform- and which I am lucky enough to represent asked Arne Duncan, Secretary of Department of Education just that.
He replied: “Our goal is to partner/w states to increase learning opportunities for children from birth to age 5.”
In other words, Obama’s P-K Early Childhood Program is Common Core Standards for babies, and is scheduled to roll out into the states in a similar fashion. The “P” is not short for preschool; it stands for “Prenatal.”
Just like with Common Core, Early Childhood is being introduced in the summer- after the legislative sessions have ended. It is being sold as a hurray-package for parents, that finally somebody will save the day of poor single parents and their uneducated children.
And there are likely scores of politicians lined up ready to sign their John Hancock on this cradle-robbing legislation so it can be claimed as “state led.”
But there is just one tinsy-winsy little problem that prevents the Obama Administration from repeating the stealth maneuver it pulled when sliding Common Core legislation into the states: Parents are paying attention, and they are ticked off and vocal.
Some Early Childhood Legislation cheerleaders tried to sweeten the conversation by pointing out that perks and bennies for parents:
“#PreKforAll includes $15 billion from #homevisiting by programs like @NatlPAT that empowers parents at home,” tweeted Parents As Teachers about their own program which offers federal home visits.
Well, to some parents the proposed home visits by the government went over like a Fed-led balloon:
“To stay out of our lives,” Tweeted a parent under the handle @formerbondgirl. “That’s the only role I want gov 2 play in my & my fams life.”
“Head Start failing report. And we want to now do Pre-K?” Asked a mom under the Twitter handle @Manateespirit.
“Isn’t that called parenting?” asked Justus Reynolds about #PreKforAll.
After all, parents are the sleeping giants in education. When they wake up bureaucrats are not only outnumbered; they are over powered. Bureaucrats are only protecting their jobs, whereas parents are fighting for their children.
And folks, parents are no longer asleep.
Expect concerned parents to grow in numbers between now and November elections as we organize. And in 2014 legislative session I predict parents will be the new top education lobbyists, as they are already benchmarking a few politicians and their anti-family politics.