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Early childhood education largely parents’ responsibility

Why are parents/families never mentioned or held accountable for their child’s education?

A few days ago our governor approved raising teachers’ salaries, which is very important as teachers deserve to be paid for the hard work they do. Now … she (has) approved a budget which places two-thirds of the budget into public schools. What is the money going for and what will it do to change our 49/50 ranking in the nation regarding education? We have been pouring money into public education for years, and nothing has changed. We need to say what we are going to do with this money to change the success rate for our children. And again, there is no mention of parent/family accountability.

(In an April 6 column) … by Steven Carrillo, “Budget should be rejected for student’s sake,” (Carrillo wrote): “First and foremost, kids don’t show up to our schools ‘at risk’ as soon as they turn 4 or 5 years of age. The unfortunate circumstances (which contribute to our large number) of at-risk kids begins at birth.”

I was born in Albuquerque, graduated from Manzano High School and attended UNM and have owned an early childhood education preschool here for 25 years and NEVER have I seen or heard a discussion regarding holding parents/families accountable for their child’s learning. The blame is always on the school or the teachers. There is never mention of the family being responsible for the child. We have enabled parents/families to depend on day cares, preschools and schools to raise their children and teach them everything. Parents/families are their child’s first teacher, and they need to know what developmental milestones to expect for their child so they can guide and teach them. And it is not just academics.

We need to use some of these funds for parent/family/society education regarding child development. The most important years of a child’s life is birth through (age) 5. Many people do not understand this. They think that when they get to kindergarten they will learn. The truth is that children develop from birth to 5, and there are developmental milestones and there are self-help skills along the way.

Children should be learning manners, values and self-help skills along the way, not just academics from their child care centers but from their homes, families and parents. We need to invest some of this money/excess revenue into parent/family/society education regarding early childhood education and education K-12. As long as I have had a preschool here in Albuquerque, I have never seen any state money going for parent education. I truly believe this is the missing link. Legislators, unions and everyone else is afraid to offend the parents/families, but guess what, it is the missing link and once parents/families step up to the plate and accept responsibility, things will change. What took us so long?

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