Thank you, Mr. Tom Mulhern for your recent Dispatch column about
the advertisements supporting state-funded mandatory preschool.
Thank you, Mr. Tom Mulhern for your recent Dispatch column about the advertisements supporting state-funded mandatory preschool. The ads have not been sitting well with me, either. Rather than pushing academics on younger children, lengthening the school day or extending the school year, I think we should be evaluating standards and curriculum to make sure our expectations are realistic.
David Elkind, in his book “The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon,” includes an excellent chapter on educational trends that resonated with me as an elementary school teacher. He discusses the pitfalls of this progressive downward thrust of the curriculum and how more basics, more hours, more homework and more testing are a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease. I think parents and educators alike would find his views worthy of consideration.
I’m also grateful Mr. Mulhern mentioned that people have strengths in areas other than what we currently stress in school. He said these people might not go on to traditional colleges, but are still valuable parts of society. I agree! I wonder if this issue has something to do with the high school dropout rate. I’d love to hear from high school teachers, parents and students as to whether or not they feel the curriculum is broad enough to meet the needs of a variety of students with a variety of strengths and interests. Are we losing some kids because our measure of a “good” student is too narrow?
Tammy Vickroy, Gilroy