May 25, 2005

Preschool Expulsions: Maybe It's Not Those Damn Kids

Smart people are starting to unpack that Yale study showing that pre-schools expel kids at a rate 3x higher than higher grades. The result: maybe preschool itself is the problem.

Of course, the theories put forward in this NYT article seem to contradict themselves. Preschools are too rigorous, with too much regimented activity driven by academic achievement and standardized testing, says one expert. Or, says another, they're just day care centers in preschool drag, whose actual clients are parents, not kids. Or they're not supporting their own teachers.

Whatever it is, it's depressing.

Maybe Preschool Is The Problem
[nyt, via kottke]
Previously: FLASH! National Preschool Hoodlum Epidemic


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I am a single father of 2, an 8 year old girl, and a 5 year old boy. My son just this year graduated from pre-K and I do not think it is the systems fault and I also feel it is not my sons OR my fault BUT the culmination of the 3. I love to be spontaneous and make my kids laugh at the drop of a hat anywhere we might be. I also push them to do their best academically also. I sit with them every night at dinner and we go over how their day was and things of interest in their life. My daughter is the perfect angel, but she is just learning the social skills that would have naturally been picked up from her mother. My son however is a near duplicate of me. An alpha-male who like to be the center of attention. Now...when I "cut-up" with them it is at the right time and the right place. I know this from age and little bit of hard earned wisdom, haha. He on the other hand is just beginning to learn these ideals of modern society which I also enforce and encourage him to follow. I know it is hard for him not to be the "leader of the pack" as some would say, and get the giggles from his classmates and the smiles from a few little blonde girls in his class, but I also enforce that the teacher's instructions are NO diffrent than the rules we have at home. He has been doing very well this year, with a few slips here and there, but it seems that the teachers of today just dont have the patience that they did when my little girl was in pre-K just a few years ago. I am curious...did I miss something? Or is just the reaction to a child who on occasion who has trouble following the rules sometimes?
I have noticed that some of the older teachers take his bad days with a grain of salt and others write letters home. Either way, he gets the talk when we get home, the one he hates about "what did you do today?" . He just has those days when he forgets the rules a little. So to all you teachers out there, I know you have some "bad apples", but also you have some with just a little tough skin which will be the leaders of tomorrow with the "angels". So sometimes take them with a grain of salt, and remember....most times, they are just good kids who want a smile from you.

I am a father of three ages 15, 13, and 2. My first 2 children did not attend preschool and both have done very well in school and life. Our area does not require preschool and I do not intend on sending my youngest. I have seen to many children who did go to preschool that seem to have alot of problems in school. I have seen others that have done very well.
I feel no matter what it is up to the parents to provide the skills they need to get along in life.

I live in the suburbs of NY, a fairly generic burb with a mean income of about $160K and a lot of upwardly mobile types.

So, finding a daycare/preschool for my nearly-four-year old was a challenge. Not finding a good one - that wasn't the tough part. The hard part was finding one that accepted that kids are kids, that they don't need to know how to read or add beforing entering kindergarten, and that they really just need to learn how to share and play properly.

There are nursery schools in this town that send kids home with homework. I kid you not. HOMEWORK. For three year olds.

My take: Any preschooler under that kind of pressure to perform has a gosh-darn right to act out. They shouldn't have to worry or stress about anything beyond whether or not they'll get a turn on the tire swing.

...and also, I agree -- teachers DO seem to have less patience. But when you expect a kid to be able to write his own name by his third birthday, I guess you're probably NOT expecting him to throw sand or eat Playdough.

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