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New York City
March 2002

Education Update Online Survey Results

Education Update’s online website receives 750,000 hits per month. Our online survey has brought many varied responses to an extremely important topic in education: Universal Pre-Kindergarten. Respondents were asked to vote as well as share their opinions. Here are some of their insights.

Survey Respondent Comments:
“Pre-kindergarten teaches much more than academic skills. It prepares students for basic needs.” - Primary Teacher

!The myths about pre-kindergartenlet children be children, don’t rush them,there is plenty of time — are not ideas for this day and age. Times have changed and education must change with the times. The day-care centers offer coloring, cutting, pasting, alphabeting, recognizing 20 to 25 of the first basic reading words, spelling some of them and napping. Why should a child go into pre-kinder in the school districts doing the same things? The transition from preschool to primary school should be more challenging and offer more variables that predict success in school. The teacher helps set the child to his or pace. All children do not progress at the same pace. They will progress if not held back according to traditions.” - Educator

 “Too many children are at a disadvantage by not having Pre-K training! This is an important time in the life of these young children who are eager to learn and it’s not fair for some to start kindergarten with the advantage of knowing more than others. All children need the advantage of being able to learn at an early age.”
- Teacher

“Actually, my parents are willing to pay the taxes. I attended a pre-kindergarten in Belgium and it was an overall positive experience. I think pre-kindergartens allow children to go from the hands of babysitters to the hands of educators...those early years are not wasted for children whose parents work, for example.”
- High School Student

 “I do not support academic pre-kindergarten programs. Children need time to enjoy their childhood with many opportunities for guided discovery and play. As a kindergarten teacher, I have seen too many children burn out by second grade. The burnout resulted from excessive demands for high performance of pushed down curriculum that they were not emotionally ready for. Improving teacher education and implementation of standards is the best medicine for preparing our children for the 21st century.” - Early Childhood Specialist

 “Pre-K works for children in helping them learn and be prepared for kindergarten and the future as learners for life.”

“Universal Pre-K is needed. However, the programs must be developmentally appropriate and not just watered down kindergarten.”

“Such a program would only subtract from the amount of money available for regular education. Regular education has already lost funding to special education and after school programs.”

“I think Universal Pre-K is extremely important, but not with a ‘strong academic focus’ as your survey asks. We should not insist on four year olds knowing how to read! If they do, that’s great. But we all know that children all learn differently, and some may take until first grade to be able to read—this should not be seen as a bad thing. Instead, Universal Pre-K should focus on the the process of learning and instilling a love for it through hands-on, interactive activities such as art and music and just playing.”

“If I have no kids, why should I pay?”

“I believe academics ought to be connected to classroom behaviors. Certainly academics would play a strong part of the childs educational growth. What I see in classrooms are behaviors that prevent students from learning. Currently there are educational and political ambitions to begin after-school classes. I believe time in classrooms ought to expand, — similar to other countries around the world, but disruptive behaviors will interfere with academics. I strongly believe disruptive behaviors are, at least partially, learned at home. Behavior management in classrooms does help, but is only temporary in stopping bad behaviors. What is missing is the parents part of the equation. They, ought to be held accountable for their childs behavior. I would be interesed in paying extra taxes, but only if parents learn to parent.”

Survey Participants Included: Full time teachers (public and private), substitute teachers (public school), students, doctors and a graphic designer.#


Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel: (212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919. Email: ednews1@aol.com.
All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2001.