Preschool, tracking and socialization.
Earlier, I posted about the universal preschool efforts by Virginia. Governor Kaine has just revealed the next step in achieving his goal: universal tracking of Kindergartners. Information will be collected on the child's pre-Kindergarten education, including: daycare, private or public preschool and home life. Why am I not surprised? I bet KidTrax would be a huge help to Virginia's goals.

I wonder why it is again that Ananda Roberts, President and CEO of nFocus (the company that makes KidTrax) is so highly honored by the Bush Administration? And how she got on a commission described as " elite group of leading business professionals and political strategists recognized for extraordinary leadership in supporting the President's initiaties and advocating fora pro-busines agenda in Washington."

It wouldn't be because this is only the beginning would it?

And why can't the research be commissioned to a private research organization? I'm sure some local School of Education would love to the opportunity to carry out a longitudinal study of preschool. But that wouldn't give the government the information it wants. And there is that pesky little problem that the research has already been done and we already know that preschool is most helpful for those in the low-income bracket (although gains seem to disappear by 3rd grade) and are not helpful for middle and higher income level families.

I love the little quote near the end.

Robert Pianta, a University of Virgina education professor, said preschool can
help children learn letters and develop early math skill. They also learn
how to interact with peers and adults.

"The kind of learning that goes on when you are 3 or 4 is critical to how you manage school later on, both on the social side as well as learning language and vocabulary and the ABCs" he said.

Tracking and socialization. What more could you want for your children? I have a bit more to say on that topic, but it will require a bit more space than I have in this entry...and a bit of research to make sure I have my information straight. I'm not at home at the moment which means that I'm visiting, and don't have as much time as I do at home. But it also means that I'm on a computer that is really fast. No more making tea between page loads!

Enjoy the "socialization" of the season!

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