False Alarm: It's Only John Stossel
There have always been those we love to hate. As a teacher and advocate for children, that person for me has become John Stossel. He loves to say, or actually, have his interviewees say, the most provocative, jarring, obnoxious thing possible – as long as it circumvents the facts. In 2006, Stossel set off on his campaign of revenge on his childhood teachers with the 20/20 show, "Stupid inAmerica." In the story he described how America was failing its kids and it that it was mostly teachers' fault. Even he "admitted" the title was intentionally off putting when he wrote...
"Stupid in America" is a nasty title for a program about public education, but some nasty things are going on in America's public schools and it's about time we face up to it.”
The story provoked an outcry from people who actually work in public schools, and big surprise, he didn't stop there.
ABC News must be joking to legitimize this as “reporting”. Or maybe the joke is working for them. John Stossel has produced a show in cooperation with the Reason Foundation. Drew Carey is the mouth piece for Reason.TV that has been producing short documentaries on the triumph of libertarian thinking in America. With the help of Reason.TV Stossel is back to, (serious music here) "Take on Preschool."
Sometimes I actually wonder if Stossel is a secret advocate for the causes he is bashing, hoping to stir up feelings so that advocates for the targeted topic du jour will step up and make their voices heard. His penchant for obscuring the facts for good TV actually gets folks who know what they are talking about to start writing blogs and OpEd's that push the argument forward and bury the type of shallow arguments he presents. So, in a way, thanks Mr. Stossel.
So, if we take this as serious news then I owe you, and Mr. Stossel, a rebuttal. I will put together my policy rebuttal this weekend but until then, I wanted you to have a chance to hear your own voices. Especially since you won't hear them reflected on Stossel's segment tonight.
You see, we at Inside Pre-K actually tried to get your voice into the 20/20 "news story" by asking you to submit your stories and share your child's pre-k experiences with ABC. My mistake for thinking that ABC news wanted to hear more than one side of the issue.
In the spirit of balanced journalism, here are some of your quotes. I can't include them all, but please know that we are listening.
It seems that Kindergarten is no longer the year of learning to learn in a social setting, rather it is learning reading and writing… what WE did in first grade. Learning to learn in a social setting is now the province of pre-K. For those children raised without the benefit of books, reading and conversations and the stimulation of exploration, starting Kindergarten without the boost provided by Pre-K is too often the start of no success in school and often in life as well.