Do We Need Preschool, or Just Better Parents?

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To the Editor:

I just read your article on the high expulsion rate of pre-K students ("Preschoolers Expelled From School at Rates Exceeding That of K-12," May 18, 2005) and was interested to see that none of the “experts” cited mentioned parental responsibility or the fact that some children are not mature enough to participate in such programs. That seems to be the trend in society as a whole: Blame the problem on the school, not on society.

In my opinion (I’m a 51-year-old high school teacher), pre-K programs are a waste of time and money. If they worked, the millions of kids who have participated in Head Start since the 1960s would be pushing scores and achievement up, but in fact the opposite has occurred.

When I was a child, there was not even a kindergarten program in our school system. Our mothers and other family members taught us colors, numbers, and the alphabet as we interacted in the home environment.

That’s the missing piece. If children are allowed to run wild at home, receive neither nurturing nor discipline from their families, and constantly have excuses made for them, they rarely will adapt to a school environment. Changing that environment to fit them is the wrong way to go.

For our schools to succeed, we need to return to some of the old ways. Parents need to take control of their children. Schools need to quit playing games with students. We need more teachers and fewer educators. And we need to get back to smaller schools and more basic education.

Jeff McClure
Vidalia, La.

Vol. 24, Issue 39, Pages 37-38

Published in Print: June 8, 2005, as Do We Need Preschool, Or Just Better Parents?

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