Our Education Gap: Where We Are Losing Our Children

1730 words - 7 pages

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Jeremy MastersENG 101Tara Warman29 June, 2008Our Education Gap: Where We Are Losing Our ChildrenToday our young children face a deficiency in regards to their education. This dilemma begins even before their compulsory education is slated to begin. The majority of children entering kindergarten today are under prepared for the academic challenges that will be presented to them. The Trust for Early Education (TEE) states, "Today, we are asking our children to do more in kindergarten than in previous generations. Kindergarten is no longer preparation for school-it is school" (2). In recent years, researchers have found that educating pre-kindergarten (pre-K) children (ages three to five) provides a direct link in the development of further scholastic success. Children are naturally curious during the early stages of their lives. It is during this time that we must fuel their curiosity and passion for learning to ensure they are prepared for the education challenges that lie ahead. Margaret Spellings, current U.S. Secretary of Education, stated, "We cannot prepare students for the global economy if we don't get them to grade level first" (para.1). The predicament lies in correcting current pre-K programs for children to ensure an even education foundation is achieved prior to kindergarten. By improving compulsory early childhood education programs, we can ensure all future students are afforded essential learning skills as well as emotional and social development.As our economy continues to shift, the percentage of families with two parents working full time increases each year. A study conducted in 2002 by the Department of Health and Human Services established 44% of families with children, ages three through six, had two full-time employed parents. This study verifies that many of our children are spending the greater part of their early lives away from their parents. A staggering 74% of these children are placed in non-parental care, of which 56% are center-based programs (sec.1). TEE provides the following information in a report for state resource:Many pre-kindergartens have babysitting as their primary function, not school readiness. As a consequence, 35% - even 50%, by some estimates - of our children are not fully prepared when they enter kindergarten. As a result we see higher than necessary rates of grade retention, remediation, and special education placements. Giving all children access to high-quality pre-K is one of the most effective ways to improve academic success and tackle these challenges early. (para.2)These results substantiate the overwhelming need for a pre-K program in every state, available to all families, and all children.The majority of current state programs are structured to only allow a small portion of our society to take part in early education. These programs are targeted to serve economically or otherwise disadvantaged children. However, our current education shortcomings are now reaching into...

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