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Duncan: preschool key to solving education crisis

Ohanian Comment: Just what we need: One more solution from Duncan. I am not against quality early childhood programs. The catch, of course, is in one's definition of "quality" and "program." I don't want explicit teaching of skills. I want what recognized experts in early childhood consider quality care, with an emphasis on play. We should ask Secretary Duncan if he has read the Alliance for Childhood.

Duncan's plan will steal childhood, replacing play with skill drill.

And I wish our corporate politicos would consider the fact that if parents weren't forced to work 3 and 4 jobs just to survive economically, then maybe one parent could stay home and provide the quality care needed by young children.

I don't dispute that Secretary Duncan's mother has run a good program for many years, but calling it the answer is a bid odd, given the terrible stories we're hearing about violent youth in Chicago. Something terrible has happened in Chicago. It's related to poverty; it's related to race; it's related to drugs. Why doesn't Secretary Duncan talk about this . . . instead of positing one more "solution" to the education crisis that ignores poverty?

When this item pops up in your local news, write a letter!

Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - Education Secretary Arne Duncan says the key to solving the education crisis in the United States is offering quality early childhood programs to every child.

Duncan spoke to thousands of educators from across the country gathered in Atlanta on Monday for the National Black Child Development Institute. He said schools have to become like community centers that are open 14 hours a day and offer extra music, sports and academic programs.

Duncan said the U.S. has a historic chance to transform education and get out of the "catch up business" with other countries like China.

He talked about the after-school program his mother founded in 1961 to help poor black students on Chicago's southside as an example of what every neighborhood needs to really make a difference.

On the Net:

National Black Child Development Institute: http://www.nbcdi.org/

— Associated Press


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