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Playing the Poverty Card

Are children raised in poverty better off being institutionalized as one reader suggests? You decide…

I must tell you that I was a bit disappointed upon reading the overview of your website on your home page. What a negative twist you put on public institutions implementing preschool programs.

Did you take into consideration the vast number of children under the age of 5 being raised in poverty situations, single parent dwellings, drug or alcohol addicted parents, in the foster care system, etc, etc,? Unfortunately for these children preschool and their preschool teacher offers the only stability and structure in their lives. It isn’t necessarily due to larger entities wanting to “make a profit”.

I found it even more hypocritical of your site to print the following statement: “These misguided preschool proponents encourage unproven methods of instruction that cause undue stress in young children leading to learning and behavioral problems.” Upon delving a little further into your website and links, I found that you are promoting developmentally inappropriate activities for parents to use with their preschool children.

Perhaps you might take a step back, do a bit more research and rethink the message your website is promoting.

Shelli L.


Dear Shelli,

I must tell you that I am deeply offended by your comments regarding the well-researched efforts of some of the best qualified and highly motivated advocates of preschoolers. Let’s take a look at your comments, one by one, shall we?

“I must tell you that I was a bit disappointed upon reading the overview of your website on your home page. What a negative twist you put on public institutions implementing preschool programs.”

Playing the Poverty Card

“Public institutions”; now that just about says it all. You must not have any children, because if you did, would you really want them institutionalized? As for “public”. If you have been following the progress of our “public” schools, you would realize the horrible trend that has been set already. There are many fine private preschools for the children of parents who need them. These will no longer be affordable, once free public preschools (read “day care”) are firmly in place.

That is when choice goes out the window. As for quality, public programs don’t have a stake in the outcome, once there are no more choices (as in “private preschool options”), there is no motivation for public school institutions to strive to do better. This promotes a steady downhill spiral, as we are already seeing in our public schools today.

“Did you take into consideration the vast number of children under the age of 5 being raised in poverty situations, single parent dwellings, drug or alcohol addicted parents, in the foster care system, etc, etc,?”

Are you saying that because my parents were poor and my father was an alcoholic that I would have been better off spending my days in a public institution? Being poor doesn’t mean you lock a child up and throw away the key. My mother never put any of her children into daycare, we had a rough time, but we learned to play together with what we had available. It gave us an opportunity to use our imaginations. No, life wasn’t easy for us, but I certainly don’t believe daycare or preschool would have made my life any better.

As an adult, when my own child was five, we were homeless for about a year. We still managed to care just fine for him. Was life easy? No. But just because things get difficult doesn’t mean a parent is incapable of caring for and making the best decisions for their own child.

“Unfortunately for these children preschool and their preschool teacher offers the only stability and structure in their lives.”

This is just plain ridiculous. I had plenty of structure in my life and so did my own son. Poverty isn’t illegal! It’s not a disease: It is merely a financial state that some find more important than others. I guess according to you, if a parent is poor, loses their job or home, they are no longer qualified to be a parent? What planet are you on? Look around and wake up. People have been poor from the beginning of time, it doesn’t make them ignorant or incompetent.

“It isn’t necessarily due to larger entities wanting to “make a profit”.”

Why exactly do you think public schools are trying to expand? Watch the news – they are closing more and more schools, because parents are finding other alternatives. The public schools are the worst. If they don’t manage to pull in the preschool crowd, even more schools will soon close their doors. My question to you is, why should we trust the public school system with our preschoolers, when it has failed in every other arena where it operates? Isn’t it enough that Johnny can’t read, so now Johnny’s little sister Suzie shouldn’t be taught to read either?

“I found it even more hypocritical of your site to print the following statement: “These misguided preschool proponents encourage unproven methods of instruction that cause undue stress in young children leading to learning and behavioral problems.””

Apparently, you haven’t done your homework. Try reading the research, it’s posted on this site as well.

“Upon delving a little further into your website and links, I found that you are promoting developmentally inappropriate activities for parents to use with their preschool children.”

Since you weren’t kind enough to provide any actual details, I have no further comments to offer.

I recommend that you read the actual research documents available on UniversalPreschool.com and various other websites. Be sure to check the researchers’ methodology and don’t forget to glance at who is actually footing the bill for the research. Many times that is what gamblers like to call a “tell.” Then get back with me, if you have some intelligent comments to make.

Thank you for your comments.

Regards,

~Annette M. Hall
Public Liaison for the abolishment
of all Universal Preschool Programs

3 comments to Playing the Poverty Card

  • Anonymous

    Annette,

    It is obvious that you and I are on opposite sides of the fence wtih this issue. Rather than debate this any further, I’d like to bow out now and apologize for offending you. Please know that your comments have also offended me. You are fortunate to have fared so well coming from a background such as yours as you described to me. Not all are as fortunate as you. Shelli L.

  • Anonymous

    Now that is funny, when you are wrong and can’t back up your beliefs you bow out.

    Good stuff.

    Keep up the good work Annette.

  • Anonymous

    Annette,
    This poor, disabled, single Mom just has one thing to say to you…..Thank You!!!
    Not only did I not send my son to preschool, I am still homeschooling him(2nd grade this year)….And we are doing just fine! :o)

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