Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mary Thompson Takes Issue with Martin Luther College Early Learning Center

Irrelevant but good for a smile.

From Mary Thompson, exiled from WELS, long ago, for asking questions:

I would take strong issue with the comment about MLC's breaking ground for an Early Learning Center, being a facility to learn about "changing diapers".  To think of what is currently called, Early Learning (formerly called Preschool), in terms of baby sitting or diaper changing is to be unformed or na├»ve.  There is an agenda on the part of powers that be to monitor and control from prenatal to old age under the premise of "education".

It has to do with nanny state, so called social equity "do gooders", and now global workforce training with public/private partnerships.  The agenda has been "outing" itself in media and education websites everywhere.   Churches should be leading the charge exposing and opposing the whole movement as a contributing factor to the breakdown of family structure, instead of  institutionalizing the planner's euphemism, Early Learning.   Of course learning starts early, but the question remains who should be the  early learning teachers and examples:  Parents or institutions?

----- Forwarded Message -----
From:  m.t.
Sent: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 17:36:12 -0000 (UTC)
Subject: Fwd: San Jose Mercury News eEdition Article

This is a very revealing article tying the early learning agenda to the corporate workforce economic agenda.  
"Capitalists for Preschool" is a term to mark and remember.   Not only is preschool (early learning agenda) presented as necessary for National Defense as the report headed by the team of Joel Klein and Condi Rice concluded  as well as charters and vouchers.  Now preschool is considered to be crucial to our economic infrastructure.   Puts a whole revealing light on where the early learning, preschool, emphasis is coming from today...the same corporate interests joined with big brother government behind replacing education with "workforce training".  

In the 60's and 70's we fought the nationally spawned Family Life Education which was far more than sex  ed.  We warned and few could believe that FLE was designed to destroy parental authority and destruction of the traditional family.
It succeeded, and that having been accomplished, now the public/private partnering is under way to supplant the traditional family structure in the name of workforce development or economic infrastructure.  

----- Forwarded Message --

West Valley / Peninsula Edition 03/19/2013, Page A07

Return on investment for child care is huge

By Vien Truong

From the uproar over Yahoo’s new parent-unfriendly telecommuting  ban to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union push, how we care for and educate children in their early years is suddenly a topic of national conversation.

  But a national conversation is just that: words. The real laboratory  for improving our patchwork early childhood care and education  system is in the states. In this, as in so many areas, California  was once a leader but now lags behind Alabama, Georgia, and other states we might lose to in football but not usually in the arena of investing in kids.

  How has the political culture in the conservative South shifted to embrace progressive policy solutions?
Call it “Capitalists for Preschool.”  Many in the business community have joined the chorus  to preach to elected leaders that, just like our roads, schools and the electrical grid, child care and early education are a crucial part of our economic infrastructure.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce,  hardly a bleeding heart outfit, even put out a white paper to call for deep investment.

  With good reason. Here’s the reality for California parenting:

■ A
bus driver lacks affordable options when she is scheduled to work night shifts. Faced with the fear of losing the job she needs to keep food on the table, she does what she has to do: Her secondgrader  rides the bus with her all night.

■ A
Silicon Valley telecom small business owner calculates the total average time his employees  arrive late, leave early or are absent due to child care emergencies.  The productivity lost is equivalent to a week and a half annually for a full-time employee.

  The people who most bear witness to these stories are preschool and child care providers.  They see this toehold on jobs and independence and an eroding bottom line and profit and are trying to fix it. Not only are they the professionals who make all of California’s professions possible; they’re responsible for the early educational development that directly correlates to success in K-12, college or worker training.

  A new alliance of providers, parents and forward-thinking employers is emerging to press Sacramento for the policy solutions  that have worked for our
neighbors in Oregon, Washington and other states. Today more than 300,000 children in California  sit on a wait list, the tip of the iceberg in terms of need. Their parents are eligible for assistance with the cost of care but can’t get it. Child care for one infant represents 42.9 percent of the average single mother’s earnings  , an obstacle that is almost insurmountable.

  Lack of reliable, affordable child care is the number one source of absenteeism and workforce  dropout among women.

With a rapidly aging population, we are not going to continue growing our economy unless we can significantly increase women’s participation in it. Look to Japan to see how a low female workforce participation rate combined with more elderly plays
out: stagnation.

  Investing early in children’s development is not a luxury for the few Fortune 500 CEOs with the means to build a nursery adjacent  to their corner offices. It is the crux of our state’s economic competitiveness, with the highest  return on investment of any form of workforce development spending — up to $17 per dollar spent, depending what outcomes are measured. It is the key to unlocking women’s potential in the workforce. And to create the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, we have to make significant seed investment now in years zero to five.
Vien Truong is environmental equity director for the Greenlining Institute based in Berkeley. She wrote this for this newspaper.

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