Following up on my earlier post about Ro Khanna and his concern for k-12 education funding in California, he certainly is not alone in grabbing an issue that polling indicates resonates with votes.
As I observed, Ro is running for Congress against incumbent Mike Honda in a district that covers the South Bay and lower East Bay.
Our local Congressman, Eric Swalwell of Dublin, follows suit. Eric sent around a missive to urging people to support early childhood education. Now, there’s nothing wrong with early childhood education, although some of the research has indicated that it is not the cure-all that it is often touted to be.
The congressman’s note says “Early childhood education is something that Eric works hard to promote every chance he gets. He understands that a child’s path to a more successful future begins with a quality education.”
The email goes on to say, “Tim, the sad fact is that the United States lags behind most of the world when it comes to access to high-quality education. If we want our next generation of young minds to have a chance to be competitive in the global arena, then we need to invest in them early on.”
He also cites STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math) for their importance.
Eric falls into the same trap that many other politicians and educrats (an educrats is a bureaucrat passing paper and policy in education) do—they try to shove all children through the same square hole of what education they think they need. Yes, all students should have a firm grounding in U.S. history, civics, our capitalist economic system and how to read and write.
What the system that shoves round pegs into square holes does not account for is that we all have different gifts. We need to encourage those students with gifting in the sciences to run with them, but to assume that all students are suited for STEM careers is laughable.
Where the schools fail is identifying the gifts and talents that make each student unique and then helping them flourish in those areas without worrying about whether they can finish Algebra 2.
My challenge with Eric pushing early childhood education is that it, again, is not a federal function. It is a state responsibility, one that Democrats in Sacramento have tried to push. Fortunately, the governor is quite wary about entering into new programs that require ongoing funding.