New York’s Young Children are Thrown under the Bus

Bianca School Bus

On September 11th, the education committee of the New York Board of Regents approved the “Next Generation” standards for English Language Arts and mathematics.

Our youngest children have been thrown under the bus.

We are violating everything that is known, which is considerable, about how children develop and learn best. We are stealing their childhood, robbing them of play, the primary engine of human development.

We have empirical evidence that kindergarten has become the new first grade, and preschool the new kindergarten. Across the country, and in New York, we have relegated play to an hour a day . . . Read full article →

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When All Else Fails, We Must Protect Childhood: A Call to Action from Denisha Jones

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Childhood is at risk in the United States. The Global Education Reform Movement, known by the apt acronym GERM, has infected our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, their needs shoved aside by those whose guiding light is profit.

Denisha Jones, an assistant professor of early childhood education at Trinity Washington University, has been active in the fight to stop the corporate takeover of public education since 2011. A board member of Defending the Early Years, the Badass Teachers Association, and United Opt Out National, she is also pursuing a law degree. This former kindergarten and preschool teacher, who . . . Read full article →

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Elusive Equity: Reeshemah Brightley’s Hard Questions for Bill de Blasio

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We talk ad nauseam about quality and equity in early care and education. How do we get there? The answers elude us, in spite of our good intentions, leaving young children in a precarious state. The list of our sins is long—and dispiriting. Childrearing has now achieved the status of luxury item in the United States. Education is seen as expenditure not investment. We tolerate child-poverty rates that put us to shame on the world’s social-justice index. The hard, essential work of caregiving and nurturing appear nowhere on the ledger sheets for our GDP.

For Reeshemah Brightley, who . . . Read full article →

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Maya’s Marvelous Walk in the Woods

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In Last Child in the Woods, published in 2005, Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” to describe the human cost of alienation from the natural world. At a time when the virtual is fast becoming our reality, the impact on young children’s development remains an open question. Today’s researchers, on torturously slow academic timelines, are scurrying to find the answers in real time, parents’ and teachers’ anxiety growing.

Meanwhile, in other developed countries, outdoor preschools and kindergartens have taken root in ancient forests and city parks. Those who create the worlds that children inhabit in and away . . . Read full article →

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