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Protection

The desire for government at ALL levels to be able to influence the development of our children as early as possible remains strong as shown by these two examples.

Desire for Universal Preschool in the U.S.

During the Senate confirmation hearing of Secretary DeVos Senator Isakson (R-GA) made the following very alarming statement.

“She [Senator Murray] talked about her goal and my goal which we’ve shared with each other, that is to work toward requiring 4 year old prekindergarten for every student in the country…” 

DeVos did not respond directly at the time, but did provide more details of her stance on the issue of mandatory preschool in a letter written to Senator Murray.

Murray Question 30. Research shows that at-risk children who participate in high-quality preschool programs are dramatically less likely to be retained in school, be placed in special education classes, drop out of high school, or depend on public benefits when they are adults. What will you do to help states expand high-quality, affordable early childhood education programs?

DEVOS ANSWER: Early childhood education is important. This is why it is exciting to see so many states invest in and support early education programs for families. If confirmed, I look forward to working with state and local leaders to support their efforts to provide early childhood education. As you know, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) included the authorization of Preschool Development Grants to help states improve the services they are providing. If confirmed, I will work with the Secretary of Health and Human Services to confirm the efficiency and effectiveness of all early childhood education programs and initiatives. (Emphasis added).

Note she did not say she would investigate and evaluate the effectiveness of preschool programs, she will work to confirm their effectiveness.

Attorney Jane Robbins, senior fellow at the American Principles Project, writing an open letter opinion piece to her home senator,  was alarmed at Senator Isakson’s questioning during the hearing and the philosophy behind it:


In questioning U.S. Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos at her Senate hearing recently, Sen. Johnny Isakson adopted this children-as-widgets world view. Did Georgians who voted to re-elect the Senator in November realize they endorsed an ally of the statist progressive-education establishment?

There are numerous problems with the idea that education should be designed for workforce development. First, the practical problems – how does the government predict what jobs will exist and what skills they’ll require when students graduate? How does the government determine which students will be interested in which jobs and therefore will need what type of training, especially since many students don’t decide on a career until early adulthood? (Georgia seeks to solve that problem by nudging students toward a “career pathway” as early as grade 6, an approach of self-evident madness.)

Progressive statists also argue that the 21st century changes everything, that it’s now insufficient to give students the classical education – great literature, mathematics, history, science, art – that schools used to offer. But if that education was so deficient, how did men and women who received it go on to establish empires, create breathtaking works of art, generate untold societal wealth, and land on the moon? A student trained for a particular type of job will flounder if he heads in a different direction; a student with a genuine education will be equipped to take on anything

More profoundly, the workforce-development model ignores that students are human beings, not cogs in a machine. It is, as Professor Anthony Esolen says, “a vision which is strictly utilitarian, man with the soul amputated.” But this is what Common Core and workforce-developers have imposed.


The issue of effectiveness aside (though it should be noted that effective and moral are often on opposite sides of the fence) the Constitutionality of such programs is also unlikely. Robbins explained:

It wasn’t clear if he meant requiring toddlers to be sent to preschool, or requiring states to offer such “early learning” to parents who want it.But either interpretation is troubling.
 

If the former, Isakson clearly isn’t familiar with the studies showing the ineffectiveness of or even harm done by taking little ones from their parents for hours every day. (Yes, some studies suggest otherwise, but experts such as pediatrician Dr. Karen Effrem have demonstrated why their conclusions are flawed. And even if the evidence is mixed, parents have the right to protect their children from any system that may not be in their best interests.) And if he merely meant the federal government should require states to offer preschool to willing participants, where is the federal authority to do that? The Constitution gives the federal government no role – none – in education policy, so Isakson’s suggestion that states should be “required” to do anything is anti-constitutional and therefore anti-conservative.


Preschool is seen by the nanny statists as a prime opportunity to begin the indoctrination process with social emotional learning such as teaching three year olds about gender identity.  This subjective and highly sensitive data is then put into a life-long data dossier that employers hope to be able to view to determine whether little Johnny and Susie are on their way to becoming the corporate cogs or “products” as described by our newly sworn in Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and so well explained by Jane Robbins.

This is what we see coming down the pipeline here in the United States. Then there is the global push for data.

United Nations Push For Preschool Data

Global, taxpayer funded, psychological data mining of our youngest children for invasive, ineffective, and harmful government pre-K programs call for comments in the federal register. Comments are due by midnight tonight.

The federal government is joining with the globalists at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in a new study that seeks to expand social emotional data gathering (psychological profiling) on our very youngest children, collect sensitive family information and try yet again to show that preschool is effective when there are so many studies to the contrary. Here is the pertinent language from the federal register notice:

FR Doc No: 2016-29749
Abstract: The International Early Learning Study (IELS), scheduled to be conducted in 2018, is a new study sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries. In the United States, the IELS is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The IELS focuses on young children and their cognitive and non-cognitive skills and competencies as they transition to primary school. The IELS is designed to examine: children’s early learning and development in a broad range of domains, including social emotional skills as well as cognitive skills; the relationship between children’s early learning and children’s participation in early childhood education and care (ECEC); the role of contextual factors, including children’s individual characteristics and their home backgrounds and experiences, in promoting young children’s growth and development; and how early learning varies across and within countries prior to beginning primary school. In 2018, in the participating countries, including the United States, the IELS will assess nationally-representative samples of children ages 5.0-5.5 years (in kindergarten in the United States) through direct and indirect measures, and will collect contextual data about their home learning environments, ECEC histories, and demographic characteristics.

Truth in American Education provided the following list of reasons to oppose the United States participation in this study.

1) According to this compilation of over two dozen studies, there is already plenty of evidence that, at best, preschool is only minimally effective and there is significant evidence that these programs cause academic and emotional harm.

2) With so much evidence of ineffectiveness and harm, there is no reason to embark on yet another study at taxpayer expense.

3) This data gathering is unconstitutional – There is no constitutional, statutory or moral authority for the federal government to create standards and norms for the attitudes, values and beliefs, for innocent American citizens, conduct psychological research on them and to keep this data in perpetuity in federally mandated state longitudinal databases that according to this proposal are going to be shared with a large international agency with unknown data privacy protection standards.

4) It goes against several Supreme Court precedents affirming parent’s inherent rights to direct the education and upbringing of their children.

5) These types of standards and questions are highly subjective, especially when used for young children, as admitted by leading experts and organizations in the fields of education and mental health.

6) Overworked, untrained teachers essentially become psychotherapists to their classrooms of patients.

7) There is a clear link to Common Core and potential for both indoctrination and danger to student and family freedom of conscience covering such controversial topics as climate change, Buddhist mindfulness techniques, social justicetransgenderism and the LGBT agenda.

8) Because of the weak and gutted federal privacy law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), this very sensitive data can be shared with various agencies of the federal government and third parties and re-disclosed and used for “predictive tests,” which are notoriously subjective and inaccurate. Data may then well be used to make life altering decisions for children affecting college entrance, employment, etc.

9) According to information uncovered by the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings, the state of data security at the US Department of Education is appallingly bad, so this sensitive data, that the government should not have in the first place, is not safe from hackers. We have no idea what the data protection situation is at OECD.

Yes they can’t wait to get hold of our children as soon as possible to implement whatever programs they can use the data to defend. Unless parents step up to defend their children, they will grow up to be as Professor Esolen predicted “men with the soul amputated.”

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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