February 2

Letter to the editor: Big changes in education warrant a much closer look

The current Legislature will willingly respond to the following terms – “federal funds,” “children” and “schools” – as would Pavlov’s dogs.

The desire to expand our failing educational system to include 3- and 4-year-olds is nothing more than a salivary response.

Minimum reading of various studies of pre-K programs nationwide – some of which included psychological and social mentoring for parents along with assessment by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ commission on Head Start – illustrate that any advantage gained by pre-K attendance dissipates by third grade.

This is a manufactured need solely to maintain an educational system that spends more per pupil as compared to all other industrial nations, resulting in educational test scores that fall within the bottom 20 percent of same nations.

Rather than continue the chronological snobbery expressed by today’s educators, it may be time to look back into the past with eyes wide open.

One should be skeptical of current educators who easily dismiss the educational system that existed in the late 19th century and early 20th century that took a predominantly immigrant nation and produced, in the words of Tom Brokaw, “the greatest generation.”

A generation of individuals who shaped not only the United States through most of the 20th century but also contributed in rebuilding Europe and Asia following two world wars.

Hopefully, Gov. LePage will request a little more information beyond the age of the children.

Bill Perfetto

Gardiner

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