Feb 11, 2009
ELW

2009 EdWatch Education Policy and Budget Priorities: Strong Families and Academic Excellence

As the new Congress and President and all fifty states begin to address their budget priorities during this serious economic recession, EdWatch believes the following principles are building blocks for educational success as well as prudent fiscal management.

STRONG FAMILIES

Studies demonstrate a high positive correlation between strong families and academic success, including even erasing the achievement gap. The family is the most basic unit of government, and intact families are the most effective social programs. Therefore, rather than implementing invasive, ineffective, and expensive government preschool, home visiting, and child mental health programs, legislation should address policies that strengthen families, such as: Continue reading »

Feb 9, 2009
ELW

Action on Radical Early Childhood Bills

“Most citizens would recognize the anti-bias curriculum as a highly politicized curriculum which seeks to impose a particular ideological world-view upon children. Most taxpayers would simply be astounded that tax dollars are routinely being spent toward the state-by-state implementation of these apparently politicized standards.” (Mark Kindt, former Ohio and West Virginia Democrat Assistant Attorney General.)

With a simple committee amendment, House Democrats reintroduced for the state’s youngest children what amounts to the old, rejected Minnesota K-12 education system called the Profile of Learning.  Our last alert described how HF 40 and HF 246 would impose a statewide quality rating system (QRS) on both public and private childcare programs.  With this amendment, every child in the program that receives state money will be taught the controversial Early Childhood Indicators of Progress and assessed using the subjective, invalid Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.

Despite assurances from the authors that participation is “voluntary,” the goal of these bills is to eventually impose a radical non-academic government-driven curriculum and assessments on all children and childcare programs in the state. It will ultimately drive programs out of business that don’t comply with these preposterous outcomes.  The word “voluntary” appears nowhere in either bill.  Rep. Nora Slawik (D-Maplewood), committee chairwoman and author of HF 246, made it clear that childcare providers will feel “pressured to get rated” by the state. Continue reading »

Jan 28, 2009
ELW

Action on Radical Early Childhoold Bills – Bills Impose Government Curriculum on All MN Childcare SF 72, HF 40, and HF 246

Despite a massive budget deficit and lack of evidence of effectiveness or support in the general population, liberals in both the House and Senate are attempting to implement a statewide Early Childhood quality rating system (QRS).  This is not about school readiness or academics. It’s about indoctrinating our most vulnerable citizens with the ideology of the left. While a rating system that would help parents understand health, safety, costs, hours, or provider philosophy would be useful to parents, the government wants control curriculum, as well.

Instead, SF 72, HF 40 and HF 246 require programs to monitor preschoolers’ academic progress with an assessment tool.  The most likely tool will be the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, also called the Work Sampling System.  This assessment is very vague and subjective. It is based on the controversial Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, and it is falsely used to say that 50% of Minnesota children are not ready for kindergarten.  The end product will be that every childcare program in the state will be required to teach a government curriculum that is subjective and non-academic and that promotes fuzzy mental health outcomes.  The legislation would expand this controversial QRS that was developed as a pilot program by the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation (MELF). MELF is the un-elected non-governmental organization that was given $6 million of our tax dollars in the last biennium to set important early childhood policy with no public oversight whatsoever. Continue reading »