Monday, November 08, 2010

Early Education is Key to Raising America Winter 1991

A piece I wrote way back in 1991. Obviously, my writing has improved exponentially since then — I was in still in Junior College when I wrote this. My politics have also improved as well, shifting from a liberal-populist perspective to that of a leftist. I cringe when I read some of the passages in this piece, which show me still being under the spell of mixed consciousness resulting from years of being exposed to ruling class ideology.

What is missing from my 1991 essay of course, is a clear class analysis of why the U.S. doesn't fund early education, and how instead of investing in children early it prefers to train workers on the cheap. Hence the big push today for charter-voucher schools. Narrowing curriculum and focusing on teaching working class children to "work hard - be nice" are precursors to them being the laborers in the profit system. A liberation pedagogy differs from this in so many ways.

Recently, some of the poverty pimps and privatization pushers of the charter-voucher camp have insinuated that I've only been concerned with these issues over the past few years. Early Education is Key to Raising America was written in 1991. I wrote this when the vast majority of so-called edreformers were still in high school or middle school — back before Ben Austin or Michelle Rhee had ever considered phrases like education reform or even knew what words like pedagogy (actually they still don't know this one) meant. So who are the "Johnny Come Latelys" in this debate again?

Early Education is Key to Raising America

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