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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Universal Pre-K: Another Magic Bullet- Guest Blog by Lawrence Cherry

Universal Pre-K seems like the next new promise for the future. All the politicians are promising us that if there’s universal pre-k, then all the problems with illiteracy, poverty, crime, etc. will be solved.  Really, people? We’ve heard this all before. In the 60’s and 70’s they said headstart would solve all of the problems in the inner-city. How did that work out?

Let’s look at the sobering TRUTH. Education programs will only work for SOME people. It will work for those who value an education and will take advantage of the opportunities they have. If you are lazy, if you have a ‘slave mind’ – meaning you always look to the government to solve your problems, if you careless – then Univeral Pre-K will do absolutely nothing for your child.

I am an educator who works with our youth and their parents. I have seen many students who have had Pre-K go on to become excellent students. At the same time, I’ve seen students who’ve had Pre-K go on to be abysmal failures. Yes, there are children who have had pre-K who have been held back, not just once, but even twice. Do you want to know why? Because their parents believed that all they had to do was just put them in school. They didn’t help them with their homework, in fact NONE of the failed Pre-K students did their homework –ever! These parents never read to their children, never took them to story time at the library, never tried to do anything with their child outside of the school environment. All they were willing to do was just drop the kids off at school. They expected the school (government) to do everything! Sorry folks, but that’s not how it works in this country.

Since schools were created, the upper crust have always set their children apart by what they are able to provide outside of the school environment. The rich and well to do always have their children enrolled in extracurriculars like music, dance, and sports. The rich and well to do will be able to provide their children with expensive tutoring courses. Their children will go to schools with the best teachers. Even today, as these politicians speak of Universal Pre-K, the upper-crusts are not worried. They know there are too many complacent, ‘slave minded’ minorities, and poor folk, who feel that all they have to do is enroll their child in Pre-K and all their problems will be solved.


So before you decide to get on the Pre-K Bandwagon, ask yourself: “Am I the type of parent that:
·      does not help my child with homework
·      does not go to parent teacher conferences unless the principal calls and threatens to call ACS
·      allows my child to spend more time watching tv than anything else
·      thinks of my children as a ‘hassle’ or a ‘burden’
·      is not really willing to get my child help outside school
·      don’t feel education is part of the parent’s job
·      just doesn’t know how to help my children outside of school
·      too lazy to really try to find out how to help my child
·      too busy man/woman chasing to care about my child
·      too busy money chasing to care about my child

Now I know some of you want to claim ignorance. You want to say, “but I don’t know how to help my child like the teachers. Any way that’s what teachers are being paid for!” There is no teacher on this planet that can work with a child who has no home support. Upper-class families know this. If they don’t know how to help their child, they do whatever they have to in order to find the information they need.

Let’s be clear again:

Univeral Pre-K will mean nothing if the school providing the Pre-K is a crappy school. And usually inner-city schools are filled with inexperienced first year teachers who don’t look very favorably upon the children they work with.  Yet I don’t hear anyone on the Pre-K Bandwagon talking about the quality of the programs or if the teaching staff should be reflective of the community. I don’t think any suburban soccer mom would ever stand for her child to be in a school where the teaching staff was mostly Mexican or African. They’d complain.  But in the inner city: not a peep.

Univeral Pre-K will mean nothing if you’re not the type of parent to be interested in your child’s education. Children spend ¾ of their time in the ‘home’. This is where they pick up their habits of mind toward school, and mostly toward life. If you add nothing to your child’s education, your child will get a big NOTHING!

In fact, that is why the Pre-K advocates are so big on pushing Pre-K. They know that for the majority of people in the inner city, it won’t make a difference. They don’t know how to take advantage of it. Most of the people in the inner-cities are ‘slave minded’. They look to the government for everything. They think if they put their child in Pre-K all their problems will be solved. They will do nothing to help their children and so giving them Pre-K just makes more jobs for certain of the upper-class and working class of a certain culture. Our children will get the Pre-K, then fail later on, and we’ll still be talking about how they system’s not fair.

Overall, the promise of Univeral Pre-K, for some is like promising a deaf guy that his life will be changed by listening to a hot new CD.

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