Topics in Early Childhood Education

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It's a Wrap!

The Utah Legislature will finish up their session for the year tonight (yeah!). Another year of struggling to fund everything and decide where the money is to be spent. Even though our state has a surplus of money, it is still push and shove to get funding for education, although it will get a financial boost this year. However, there is also talk about funding teacher raises according to how their students are performing. In a perfect world, that may work. But most of us in education know that teachers in at-risk schools work very hard, often without parental support, to help the children make small gains. There are also many more affluent schools who have students that will achieve (because of status and parental support) regardless of how good the teacher teaches. It is irresponsible to decide that the teacher in the affluent school should get a bigger raise.
Our governor is also talking all-day kindergarten for at-risk children. A good idea for helping the disadvantaged. At-risk children always need more support, which not only includes opportunity, but also well-trained teachers. At-risk children should have the best teachers, not the left-over teachers and they need to be compensated appropriately.


At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funding is one of those topics with no easy solution. I wish lawmakers would listen more and talk less. And hopefully one day realize that they can't continue to scrap "small" amounts of money from education and still expect the kind of results they think are good.
As far as all day kindergarten, I am all for it. I have taught in an at-risk all-day kindergarten and believe me, those kids need the help. But to me, the more important issue is what will be done during that school day and what help will they recieve. Some make think that having kids sit at their desks all day, maybe a recess, lunch and possible nap time is a "good" use of the time. Not to me. I think that if they are going to have all-day, it means that the children will receive more specific attention with resource and teachers' aids trained to support at-risk children. So to me, it would be nice to now what type of resources and help these teachers and students would be receiving before I lent my support.
The last thing I wanted to say was that I agree that we have come a long way in Early Childhood Education. But it seems to me that we have learned more as educators but have learned to care less as a government. It seems like 40 or 50 years ago education matter and that politicians tried to make programs that would better support the teachers and schools. Not so today and that is why, I think, kids today are getting the bad end of the deal!


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