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<a href="http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2007/feb/07/pre_k_and_the_right" target="_blank">http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeeho..._and_the_right</a>
 

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I am uncomfortable with universal pre-K... I grew up with a teacher mom and the "us [teachers] VS them [parents]" mentality always disturbed me. The way they spoke about programs like headstart, you would think these kids were being rescued from from all kinds of dangers by the angelic teachers. The problem is that many if not most parents (even poor parents, who are at the bottom of the totem pole in teachers' eyes) really aren't bad, negligent parents, and not all teachers are angels.<br><br>
In scandinavia children don't even start school till age 7, and those countries have some of the lowest illiteracy rates in the world. Surely if starting these kids early were the real answer to literacy and academic success, we'd be seeing huge improvements by now across wide spectrums? Yet this is not the case. Yes, there are some improvements, but nothing huge.<br><br>
And then the middle class grew interested in super-early education (baby einstein, etc) not to level the playing field, but to give their kids a supposed advantage... I mean you have people who really think that unless their child is in preK, they're going to suffer academically for the rest of their lives. That's just ridiculous IMO.
 

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eck. i'm not sure i'm in favor of universal K. i know i'm not in favor of full day universal K even though dd1 is in a full day K program now. they're talking about building an early school (public preK) near us and i am so not interested. my dd's are super super attached to me and i can't imagine trying to drop dd2 off anywhere at this point (she's 3). dd1 rarely lets me go easily in the AM. we're at a private school so i have a little more lee-way to stay than i might in our local public schools. she's smart and pretty gentle with her friends (although there are the occasional issues) and most of the time she enjoys it once she gets started, but she has a lot of anxieties. man, i just wanna let 'em play. i really don't give a flip about academics. it would be nice if dd1 would decide she wants to read, but i'm not going to push her 'cause then she'll just dig in her heels and refuse to learn. ftr, i'm a bleeding heart flaming liberal. i just don't want my kids in school until they're ready.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>meowee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7249605"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In scandinavia children don't even start school till age 7, and those countries have some of the lowest illiteracy rates in the world. Surely if starting these kids early were the real answer to literacy and academic success, we'd be seeing huge improvements by now across wide spectrums? Yet this is not the case. Yes, there are some improvements, but nothing huge.</div>
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Scandinavian children don't start formal, compulsory schooling until age 7 but Scandinavia does have universal daycare (starting at a pretty early age) and kindergarten.<br><br>
In France (where we have lived for the past 5 years), the equivalent term to kindergarten, <i>école maternelle</i>, designates also preschool. State-run, free <i>maternelle</i> schools are available throughout the country, welcoming children aged from 2 to 5 (although in many places, children under 3 may not be granted a place). It is not compulsory, yet <i>almost 100% of children aged 3 to 5 attend it</i>, most from 830AM to 4PM every weekday (except on Wednesday, when school is only until noon). The classes consist of 30 children (all the same age) and 1 teacher. Some children live and thrive at the <i>ecole maternelle</i>. Others would probably do better spending more time at home.<br><br>
I am not convinced that children benefit academically from <i>ecole maternelle</i> at age 3 and 4. I think that a child who stays at home will probably learn the same kinds of things. That being said, the French idea is to do what is best for family (i.e. the parents and in particular, the working mother) and society, and not necessarily what is best for an individual child.
 

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I don't like the idea of pre-K being mandatory for all children...I do like the idea of all children having the option to attend.
 

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We have junior kindergarten (half day) and senior kindergarten (half day) here in Toronto & have for a long time. It's not mandatory but as it's in the public & Catholic (publicly funded) schools it's most common for kids to attend.<br><br>
It's helpful in a lot of ways - cost of daycare, helping identify kids that need extra help early, social interaction/group - and there is a reasonably strong curriculum, but it suffers from most of the pitfalls of public education in all the other ways. Just thought I would share that it is here though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> One nice side benefit has been that it's kept kindergarten classrooms kindergarteny with their own washrooms, etc. in some schools.
 

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I voted against it when I voted in the last election. It came up on our state ballot. I feel pretty much how meowee feels. Heck, kindergarten isn't even mandatory, why would we add preschool?
 

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I like the idea of universal OPPORTUNITY to attend pre-K, but not making it mandatory. Make it a choice, but a choice equally available to all families.
 

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I see what you mean Llyra, but the problem with that (that I see anyway) is that once you make it universally available, it becomes tantamount to making it mandatory. Like kindergarten. Not mandatory but it might as well be because everybody attends and when they don't the schools will often hound the parents--just last year I had a parent call me in a panic because a secretary at the school her dd attended was all over her about putting her ds in kinder. I had to reassure her over and over and over again that she was not doing anything wrong. It was SO frustrating knowing she'd been freaked out for naught.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Llyra</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7294992"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I like the idea of universal OPPORTUNITY to attend pre-K, but not making it mandatory. Make it a choice, but a choice equally available to all families.</div>
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Agree with previous poster. Once you make it universal, 99.9 percent of families will assume that it was "meant to be" send their children. Then if you choose to keep your child at home, there are no neighbours or other playmates for your child to play with because all the other children your child's age are at school.
 

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I'm against it for many reasons...<br><br>
It'll really hurt small family childcares like my own, and there is talk of the next step to make kindergarten compulsory...so....
 
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