Tag Archives: Rutgers University

Rutgers study: Underfunding of preschool threatens at-risk children

29 Apr

Moi wrote in Policy brief: The fiscal and educational benefits of universal universal preschool:

In Early learning standards and the K-12 continuum, moi said:

Preschool is a portal to the continuum of life long learning. A good preschool stimulates the learning process and prompts the child into asking questions about their world and environment. Baby Center offers advice about how to find a good preschool and general advice to expectant parents. At the core of why education is important is the goal of equipping every child with the knowledge and skills to pursue THEIR dream, whatever that dream is. Christine Armario and Dorie Turner are reporting in the AP article, AP News Break: Nearly 1 in 4 Fails Military Exam which appeared in the Seattle Times:

Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday.

Many children begin their first day of school behind their more advantaged peers. Early childhood learning is an important tool is bridging the education deficit. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/early-learning-standards-and-the-k-12-contiuum/


Joy Resmovits reported in the Huffington Post article, Preschool Funding Reached ‘State Of Emergency’ In 2012: NIEER Report:

States are drastically underfunding programs for their youngest learners now more than ever, according to a report released Monday, even as researchers and policymakers increasingly point to pre-school as a ladder to the middle class.

Funding per student for state pre-school programs has reached its lowest point in a decade, according to “The State of Preschool 2012,” the annual yearbook released by Rutgers University’s National Institute for Early Education Research. “The 2011-2012 school year was the worst in a decade for progress in access to high-quality pre-K for America’s children,” the authors wrote. After a decade of increasing enrollment, that growth stalled, according to the report. Though the 2011-2012 school year marks the first time pre-K enrollment didn’t increase along with the rate of population change.

“The state of preschool was a state of emergency” in 2012, said Steve Barnett, NIEER’s director. Between the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years, pre-K spending on state programs dropped by more than $548 million overall, and $442 per student (to $3,841) when adjusted for inflation, according to the report.

This means state pre-K funding per child has fallen more than $1,100 in real dollars from 2001-2002. “That’s the lowest since we’ve been tracking pre-K,” Barnett said. He called the cuts “severe” and “unprecedented.” This is the first time NIEER has seen average, per-student spending slip below $4,000. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/29/preschool-funding-2012-nieer-yearbook_n_3175249.html?utm_hp_ref=@education123

Here is the press release from The National Institute for Early Education Research:

Study Finds Drastic State Pre-K Funding Cuts Put Nation’s Youngest Learners at Risk

Monday, April 29, 2013

Funding Per Child Has Fallen More Than $1,000 Over the Decade; Programs Lose Quality as Financial Support Declines

CONTACT:  Jen Fitzgerald, (848) 932-3138, jfitzgerald@nieer.org

Washington, D.C. — State funding for pre-K decreased by over half a billion dollars in 2011-2012, the largest one-year drop ever, says a new study from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) which has tracked state pre-K since 2002.

The State of Preschool 2012 yearbook cited two other “firsts”: After a decade of growth, enrollment in state pre-K has stalled. And despite stagnant enrollment, state funding per child fell to $3,841 — well below the $5,020 (inflation-adjusted) national average in 2001-2002.

Even though the nation is emerging from the Great Recession, it is clear that the nation’s youngest learners are still bearing the brunt of the budget cuts,” said NIEER Director Steve Barnett. Reductions were widespread with 27 of 40 states with pre-K programs reporting funding per child declined in 2011-2012.

The adverse consequences of declining funding were manifested in a retrenchment in program quality as well. Seven programs lost ground against benchmarks for quality standards while only three gained. Only 15 states plus the District of Columbia provided enough funding per-child to meet all 10 benchmarks for quality standards. And, only 20 percent of all children enrolled in state-funded pre-K attend those programs. More than half a million children, or 42 percent of nationwide enrollment, were served by programs that met fewer than half of NIEER’s quality standards benchmarks.

Education in the years before kindergarten plays an important role in preparing our youngest citizens for productive lives in the global economy. Yet, our nation’s public investment in their future through pre-K declined during the recent economic downturn at the very time that parents’ financial capacity to invest in their children was hardest hit. America will pay the price of that lapse for decades to come. Barnett also noted that “while the recession greatly exacerbated the decline in funding, there was already a general trend in the states toward declining funding for quality.” In this respect, President Obama’s new universal pre-K proposal is especially timely. “We have studied the President’s plan and find it provides states with strong incentives to raise quality while expanding access to pre-K. The plan will assist states already leading the way, states that lost ground during the recession, and the 10 states that still have no state-funded pre-K,” he said.  


The National Institute for Early Education Research (www.nieer.org) at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, supports early childhood education policy and practice through independent, objective research.

The State of Preschool 2012: State Preschool Yearbook

View the full report

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education in this country, we are the next third world country.


What is the Educare preschool model?                           https://drwilda.com/2012/11/09/what-is-the-educare-preschool-model/

The state of preschool education is dire                    https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-state-of-preschool-education-is-dire/

Oregon State University study: Ability to pay attention in preschool may predict college success                                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/08/08/oregon-state-university-study-ability-to-pay-attention-in-preschool-may-predict-college-success/

Pre-kindergarten programs help at-risk students prepare for schoolhttps://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/pre-kindergarten-programs-help-at-risk-students-prepare-for-school/

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The high cost of stupid: The Rutgers verdict

20 Mar

Adolescence is a time of risk taking and testing boundaries as the child defines his or her personality. There are some activities that can prove to be very costly in terms of future opportunities for the child and money by the parents defending the child. The Tom Hanks movie, Forrest Gump, has the great line, “stupid is as stupid does.” This pretty much describes the situation of a high school girl in a New York Times article written by James Warren.  In the article about the perils of technology  Warren describes a “sexting” incident.

A 16-year-old honors student took a nude photo of herself, used her cellphone to send it to a friend and, bingo, for the last two weeks the photo has made the rounds of the three-year-old school with 1,300 students. Plainfield police seized some students’ phones and passed them on to computer forensic experts at the Will County Sheriff’s Department.The school is contemplating punishment, the police are interviewing students and James Glasgow, the Will County state’s attorney, is mulling whether to prosecute anybody under Illinois child pornography statutes. In the meantime, everybody can spend time off over the holiday cheerfully consuming “Teens and Sexting,” a study just completed by the Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center.Based partly on a survey of 800 teenagers, parents and guardians, it underscores the role of cellphones “in the sexual lives of teens and young adults.” Four percent of the teenagers indicated that had dispatched “sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves” via text messaging, while 15 percent claimed they had received such images of a person they know.Amanda Lenhart, who wrote the Pew report, said the images were “relationship currency,” shared as either part of or in lieu of actual sex. They are also used to begin or continue a relationship with a special someone. They are often passed along to others as entertainment, or a joke, with many students supposedly not taking the matter especially seriously and thus not understanding the negative legal, emotional or other consequences.Nationally, the response to this technology-inspired mess is a mishmash. Some jurisdictions have prosecuted teenagers under statutes aimed at creation and distribution of child pornography, in the process stamping them as registered sex offenders. Others have been less aggressive, considering downgrading statutes to make the passing of such images a misdemeanor, not a felony.Tom Hernandez, a school district spokesman on the Plainfield East situation, said: “Will there be discipline? Yes. But we can’t talk about it.”

What this young person did was extremely stupid, but apparently not that unusual. For all the description of being an “honor” student, there is no “honor” in the value system which thinks it is OK to send nude pictures of one’s self through the PUBLIC AIRWAVES.  This young woman is not an “honor” student, but a twit because somewhere along the line, she has not picked up the concept of boundaries and the value of privacy. Bottom line, she attaches little value to herself as a person.
For a good description of personal boundaries see the descriptions by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen who describes both healthy and unhealthy boundaries. 

A personal boundary is a space around yourself that gives you a clear sense of who you are and where you’re going. When you choose who you allow into your physical, emotional and mental space you’re activating your personal boundaries.For example, if your mother or child asks for a ride to the mall and you can’t say no without guilt, then you’re not protecting your personal boundaries. If your colleague consistently sloughs off her work for you to do and you haven’t figured out how to stop, then you’re not protecting your personal boundaries.The key to healthy relationships is a strong sense of personal boundaries. If your boundaries are collapsed or inflexible, your relationships will suffer….

Healthy Boundaries

Personal boundaries are evident and effective when you know who you are, and treat yourself and others with respect.

It is important for children to develop healthy personal boundaries. 

Maryclaire Dale reports in an AP story reprinted in the Seattle Times about a court case involving sexting.

Three federal judges in Philadelphia have heard the first criminal case of “sexting” to reach a U.S. appeals court – a dispute over cell-phone images of three teenage girls.The judges hearing arguments Friday must decide whether the girls can be charged with child pornography.The American Civil Liberties Union calls the photos harmless – and argues the girls are victims, if anything.Defense lawyers say the girls did not distribute the photos, which show two 12-year-olds in training bras and a topless 16-year-old.Wyoming County prosecutors say the images are dangerous because predators could get them.They ordered 16 public-school students to attend a “re-education” class or face prosecution. Three families are challenging the order.  

You just knew a court case has to follow almost every imaginable activity because that is how we seem to settle everything in this society.
Emily Bazelon has written an excellent analysis of the Rutgers University verdict in the New York Times opinion piece, Make the Punishment Fit the Cyber-Crime:

Mr. [Dharun] Ravi was 18 years old when he spied on Mr. Clementi, legally an adult, but he did things that reek of immature homophobia. He told a friend he wanted to “keep the gays away,” and when he set up his webcam a second time, his tweets and texts showed that he was giddily trading on Mr. Clementi’s homosexuality to get attention. Was Mr. Clementi intimidated by Mr. Ravi’s spying? The record is mixed, but inflected by Mr. Clementi’s suicide a day after the second spying incident. Though it’s not clear how much Mr. Ravi’s actions influenced his roommate’s decision to take his own life, the proximity in time is chilling. Given how broadly the civil rights laws are written, it’s not surprising that prosecutors turned to them to ramp up the charges against Mr. Ravi, especially because this normally increases the pressure on a defendant to plead guilty. The state then made Mr. Ravi a fair offer: community service in exchange for admitting to invading Mr. Clementi’s privacy. It was Mr. Ravi’s mistake not to take it. And yet, if Mr. Ravi spends years in prison, his case will set an alarming precedent of disproportional punishment. The spying he did was criminal, but it was also, as his lawyer put it, “stupid kid” behavior. Mr. Ravi isn’t the only person caught in this legal snare. After bullying was blamed for the suicide two years ago of Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old in South Hadley, Mass., prosecutors criminally charged six teenagers. That time, the district attorney used the state’s civil rights laws to directly blame five of them for Phoebe’s death. Like Mr. Ravi, they faced a sentence of up to 10 years. Never mind that the Massachusetts law had previously been used against violent racist thugs. Because it was broadly written, like New Jersey’s, prosecutors could seize upon the law because it “sent a message” about bullying, as one of them later said. The Massachusetts cases ended with a whimper: After the district attorney who brought the civil rights charges left office, her successor dropped the charges against one teenager and wisely resolved the cases against the other five, who admitted some wrongdoing, with probation and community service. Mr. Ravi, of course, will not be so lucky. States like New Jersey and Massachusetts should narrow their civil rights laws so that he’s not the first of many stupid but nonviolent young people who pay a too-heavy price for our fears about how kids use technology to be cruel. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/opinion/make-the-punishment-fit-the-cyber-crime.html?_r=1&ref=educationandschools

The cow was way out of the barn on this, as the saying goes, before the sexting incident took place. One has to wonder, what if any, values these children and/or parents might have regarding modesty and what is considered private. Do the parents, for example, have as a norm that it is OK to walk around the house partially dressed or even naked? Hillary Swank, the popular actress, told Marie Claire she walked around nude in front of her boyfriend’s son 

Hilary Swank got herself in a bit of trouble recently by telling Marie Claire magazine that she often walks around nude in front of her boyfriend’s 6-year-old son.My boyfriend’s son is six years old, and you wonder at what age you should stop walking around nude,” she said. “Every morning he comes into the bedroom, and you’re just nude. But he doesn’t look twice; he doesn’t think about it yet.She later tried to explain her remarks, stating: “I think every family is different and you have to know what’s right for you and your family.But psychologists don’t quite agree with Swank and believe that she should cover up. “Hilary, you’re not this child’s [mother],” said Dr. Jeff Cardere. “What if things don’t work out with your present boyfriend? Who knows what might happen in the future; what his psycho-sexual adjustment may be. It’s not a good thing.Read more: http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=15483#ixzz0ci4xpAcb

Of course, some nudists may think nudity is acceptable, but they recognize boundaries and are not nude in every circumstance. The question is what are parents teaching children about their bodies and their value as individuals? In my opinion, sexting is an activity that points to a much deeper issue.

The great Nelson Mandela recognized the power of mercy and forgiveness because he knew that in the land of an “eye for an eye” everyone is blind. For all those who want Mr. Ravi drawn and quartered might want to spend some time reading the statement of Nelson Mandela when receiving the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In part, Mr. Mandela said:

Reconciliation requires that we work together to defend our democracy and the humanity proclaimed by our Constitution. It demands that we join hands, as at the Job Summit tomorrow, to eradicate the poverty spawned by a system that thrived on the deprivation of the majority. Reconciliation requires that we end malnutrition, homelessness and ignorance, as the Reconstruction and Development Programme has started to do. It demands that we put shoulders to the wheel to end crime and corruption, as religious and political leaders committed themselves to doing at the Morals Summit last week. More particularly, we will start consultations with all sectors of society on how to contribute to the variety of programmes required to restore the dignity of those who suffered and to give due recognition to those who paid the supreme sacrifice so that our nation could be free. This Report contains material that could sustain endless finger pointing and gloating at the discomfort of opponents whom the TRC has pronounced to be responsible for gross violations of human rights. And in the brevity and the pattern of media reports, the fundamental principles it raises may be missed, creating an impression that the honourable thing to do would have been to acquiesce in an inhuman system. But we should constantly keep our minds on the broad picture that has emerged. We are extricating ourselves from a system that insulted our common humanity by dividing us from one another on the basis of race and setting us against each other as oppressed and oppressor. In doing so that system committed a crime against humanity, which shared humanity we celebrate today in a Constitution that entrenches humane rights and values. In denying us these things the Apartheid State generated the violent political conflict in the course of which human rights were violated. The wounds of the period of repression and resistance are too deep to have been healed by the TRC alone, however well it has encouraged us along that path. http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/1998/98a29_trc9811312.htm

See documents from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at:


In the land of an “eye for an eye” everyone is blind.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©