A Brief Collection of Comments
This write-up is an extremely useful article analysis to use as a beginning point for further research on the effectiveness of pre-k education. The author does an excellent job of organizing ideas to fit both the international and national models of this type of education. Specific states and countries are connected in terms of both the fundamentals and foundations of pre-k effectiveness, but, also, the financials involved. The only clarification that needs to be made, in order to make this write-up more effective for a world-wide audience is the assumption that all readers are aware of the “Abbott Districts” in the state of New Jersey. Clarifying this would be helpful to a more general audience, who may have questions. Along those same lines, the author does pose questions, such as “Why then, must we develop assessments to determine students’ readiness to begin school, if we have not taken a closer look at the factors that determine retention, drop-outs, and incarceration?”. This is a wonderful question, along with the others posed in the write-up, as it opens doors for further empirical research on this issue. Finally, using important citations from the article analyzed helps the reader to better understand and later expand on these ideas if one so chooses to continue researching this topic.
This write-up is eloquently written in a fashion that allows readers to comprehend the complexities of the issue at hand. Teacher retirement funds and the ambiguous nature of the amount of money paid into accounts for retirees by current teachers in addition to the anxiety of current teachers over their future retirement is an important issue for these professionals. Statewide differences are taken into account in terms of current retirement programs and an innovative new plan is discussed, as well. This is very important to include in the retirement debate and helps advocates and union members to understand where to begin in reforming retirement. The author of this write-up does a wonderful job of writing both as an expert on this issue and a supporter of teacher’s rights. The preponderance of the write-up does consider the issues and is well-written. The final paragraph, however, states the opinion and stance of the author, which is essential in letting readers know of the importance of both understanding an issue and then using that information in a positive way.
Kathleen Kingsbury’s article, “Should Kids be Able to Graduate After 10th Grade?” raises some thought provoking questions, namely the one posed in the article’s title. New Hampshire’s Commission for Higher Education believes the answer to that question is yes. Through passing exams aimed at determining the competency of 10th graders, the final two years of high school can be dropped in lieu of college in this state, which will be implemented in the near future. The article highlights the boons of this type of program, including the amount of money saved in educational dollars. This brings up the question the of who benefits more? Although this program is, also, paired with the benefit of lowering drop-out rates in addition to saving money, can children of this age really be expected to operate in a more independent college environment? Though these students may possess academic maturity, the emotional maturity level of these students is not mentioned and would be difficult to gauge by standardized testing. Though, it does mention the difficulty of determining whether or not some students would be more suited to technical school versus a traditional university. The universal tone of this decision is just that, universal. This commission assumes that because international students may enter college at an earlier age that American students can do this, as well, to be competitive in a global economy. Again, who benefits most? The answer may be almighty Capitalism and not the children. We are, as a nation, immature in a historical sense, as well as in the ways that I believe, children are raised. Without testing children for their emotional readiness, this idea seems selfish and leaves me with the same question of benefit. Who benefits more, the children or the Capitalist competitiveness that this commission concedes to?
Kingsbury, Kathleen. “Should Kids be Able to Graduate After 10th Grade?” (Thursday, Nov. 06, 2008). Accessible Online: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1857336,00.html. Last Accessed 9, November 2008.