There was a big surprise in my email inbox today…
I have discussed Pre-K previously on Cloaking Inequity. Pre-K, a Gold Standard: “You certainly don’t get what you don’t pay for” was one of my early post back in 2012. I gave kudos to the San Antonio community for voting to spend tens of millions of dollars on the program. I discussed Obama recent prioritization of Pre-K in Obama’s approach to education in the 2014 State of the Union. I talked about how Pre-K is 1412% more effective than Teach For America in Teach For America: A Return to the Evidence (The Sequel). In Dallas, the billionaires and millionaires are funding a hostile charter takeover of the entire Dallas ISD district. See the post Beware: A Hostile Takeover of ALL Dallas Public Schools is Underway. If Dallas wants a non-experimental approach to education, we recommended the following in our policy brief released by the Texas Center for Education Policy:
There are very few gold standard reforms in the research literature. However, Pre-K is one of the educational policies with demonstrative empirical evidence[i] supporting its implementation, full-day showing more impact than half-day.[ii] For Latino/as and African Americans, Pre-K is shown to be especially promising for closing the achievement gap. The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) recently released a brief summarizing the academic and fiscal benefits of universal preschool.[iii] San Antonio should be commended, as their community is leading the state of Texas by investing in the Pre-K 4 SA initiative.
My recollections of my Pre-K experience is spotty. I remember not wanting to eat the celery and just licking out the peanut butter. I recall faking naps because I couldn’t find it within me to sleep. I also remember winning the cutest kid photo contest because my mom dressed me up as a mini-santa— I think the prize came with candy (See photo above). But until today, I never thought/realized that perhaps I am a poster child for Pre-K. Today a letter came to me via email from Mary Anne Hoffman, my Pre-K teacher. As you can imagine, I was quite surprised. Here is what she wrote:
I was reading comments on testtalk.org when I saw your name and picture at the bottom of the page. I don’t know if you will remember me, but I sure do remember you. I was one of the teachers at Kinder-Care in Lansing from 1979-1980. When you came to the center, you were four years old. I have never forgotten you and believe it or not, I have thought of you over the years! I only lived in Lansing for one year. After that, I moved to a community south of Pittsburgh and have been teaching Title 1 reading for the last 34 years. (I went back to school at one point and got my Reading Recovery training at Duquesne University. I am currently working with the Fountas & Pinnel Leveled Literacy Intervention program.)
Seeing you on that website and reading up on your career was one of the highpoints of my week. You have done so well! Congratulations!!! I would like to think I had something to do with it, especially with my Book Breaks at least twice a day at the center as well as making reading books a station in my room. ( It was my version of Sustained Silent Reading for pre-schoolers.) I am pretty sure, though, that you had it in you all along… Couple that with your parents’ support and you couldn’t have been anything else but a success! Please tell your parents “Hello.” I remember them also.
On the professional side…where has my educational system gone as well as my version of the America we are losing???? I am a heart-broken teacher wondering what will happen to education. When did we become the enemy? I had hoped to round out my career feeling good about the work that I have done but it’s very hard to do that. ( Sorry for that mini rant!)
Well, Julian, I am so proud of you and I wish you the best of luck in life and most of all I wish you peace, love, and happiness!
Mary Anne Hoffman
Thank you Mary Ann.
Can we add celery, a santa suit, silent reading, and naps onto CI’s First Infographic: Perks of Preschool?
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