Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cradle to Grave?

Oftentimes, you will hear people, particularly conservatives, complain about how the government wants to be involved in people's lives from the cradle to the grave. Such interventions would include earlier schooling, housing assistance, food assistance, sex education, health insurance, Social Security, free college, etc. I agree with the notion that this would be too much government involvement. This would usurp the need for people to take personal responsibility for their own lives. Too much government involvement in the lives of children would take away the responsibility parents have to bring their children up in a proper manner. 

When public schools seem to receive the blame for almost everything one fails to achieve in life, can you blame some school districts or states for waiting to expand early childhood education? If a child's K-3 teachers are going to be blamed for his poor third grade reading test results, would it serve the district's interest to lobby for more funding for expanding pre-kindergarten and starting it earlier so these kids actually come to kindergarten prepared? This could be said of food, healthcare, housing, etc. I mean, more kids in the suburbs have stable housing, food, healthcare, extracurricular activities, etc. and they seem to perform better. If schools are going to be blamed for things they can supposedly control (student learning), then the natural response would be for them to advocate for more influence in other aspects of children's lives.

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