EDUCATION FOR A FREE NATION
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
September 10, 2006
MINNESOTA 2006 PRIMARY ELECTION GOVERNOR
Following is a comparison of the major party candidates for Minnesota
Governor in the September 12, 2006 Primary Election on the issue of Early
Childhood Education and the role of state government.
On the issues: Early Childhood Education
Several candidates reference Art Rolnick's proposals on early childhood.
A critique of the Rolnick proposals may be found on our website.
EdWatch has many concerns about preschool programs regarding promotion of
controversial government outcomes dealing with gender identity,
multiculturalism, environmentalism, and careers, to name a few. The
academic outcomes are broad, vague, and nearly meaningless. There
are also concerns relating to cost, effectiveness and no acknowledgement
of studies indicating the academic and emotional harm that outside care
and teaching at too young an age may have for young children. Other
EdWatch background information on these issues may be found at the
Governor Tim Pawlenty (R)
March 7, 2006 Press Release
need to improve the transparency and accountability of early childhood
programs, Governor Pawlenty today announced a package of initiatives to
give Minnesota's youngest residents "a running start as they begin
the educational race."
Governor's early childhood reform proposals total approximately $10.2
million in the first year and $10 million per year thereafter.
Funding will come through redirected federal TANF funds. The
Governor's proposals include:
Sue Jeffers (R)
- Reinstatement of the Minnesota Kindergarten Readiness
- Intervention for children deemed "not ready" for
kindergarten: $1.5 million
- Educate new parents in partnership with healthcare providers: $80,000
- Create programs for non-licensed, non-center based providers through
ECFE: $2.1 million
- Incent inclusion of an educational component in child care
programs: $6.1 million
April 24, 2006 Minnesota Public Radio, Midday Show
think we concentrate so hard on the earlier years and we forget about the
later years in high schoolI propose spending less money on our three and
four year olds, our ready for K programs that they talk about, and I
propose spending more money for the junior high and senior high kids to
get them ready to go to college.
find it absolutely appalling that in Minneapolis, fifty percent of the
black males do not graduate from high school and thats in our
state. That is second only to Washington DC. So, education has to
be a priority, and we have to get our kids ready to go to college Some
experts say that ["if you spend that money early on that the kids
will do better in school and they will be ready to go to college"
(Question from the host)] other experts say different. They say
that the money you spend and that the effort you make with that is lost
by the time the child gets to the fourth grade. I think where you see the
kids dropping out and making poor choices, which may lead them down a
path of criminal activity instead of productive activity, is because we
fail them in middle school and high school.
Attorney General Mike Hatch (DFL)
Hatch for Governor website
studies and surveys verify Rolnick and Grunewalds claim that an
unacceptably high percentage of Minnesotas preschoolers are behind
before they even start school. In February 2004, the Minnesota Department
of Educations second annual school readiness survey found that up to 20
percent of 4- and 5-year-olds started school well behind their peers.
Likewise, a Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board survey found that less
than half of the citys public school children start kindergarten with
key pre-literacy skills such as rhyming and knowing the alphabet.
"Citing evidence from several studies, including one which tracked a
group of 3- and 4-year-old African American children born in poverty into
their late 20s, Rolnick and Grunewald concluded that for every dollar
spent investing in early education, society gets a 12 percent (inflation
adjusted) public return and a total return, public and private, of 16
percent. This return, they argued, results from the fact that the
children require much less remedial intervention, are less likely to be
poor and more often become successful, contributing adults.We need to
narrow the achievement gap and support early education programs.
Senator Becky Lourey (DFL)
January 19, 2006 Minnesota Public Radio
a disciple of Art Rolnick. I believe him when he says that for
every dollar we invest in early childhood, we get a return of either
seven to twelve dollars into the states economy. I was chair of
early childhood for a number of years in this state and we were building
this system of investment. And, it was so beautiful and for the last four
years, that has been destroyed. Again, I put my money where my
mouth is. I built a childcare with an education component on site
at my business up there in Bruno, Minnesota, and it works. But,
beyond that, we need to make sure that our families can do the job of
parenting and partnering with their schools that is so important.
We cannot have latchkey kids. We have to have children with access
to adult supervised activities. It is a huge issue that if we want
our state to become competitive, we need every single child in the state
ready to reach their full potential.
Peter Hutchinson (Independence)
January 25, 2006 Minnesota Public Radio
that, it seems to me we really need to focus on three things.
First, preschool education - only fifty percent of our kids in Minnesota
show up at kindergarten ready for school. Now, I love teaching and I love
teachers. I think teachers are absolutely fabulous, but if only fifty
percent of your kids are showing up ready for school, thats too
much. Thats too hard. Thats too big a lift. So an
investment right now in preschool education, not another task force, not
another study, but an investment in preschool education I think we ought
to do instantaneously and move a much higher percentage of our kids to
being school ready.
Expect early learning and school readiness from every family - delivered
at home or in child care settings.
- Follow the lead of Art Rolnick and the Minnesota Early Learning
Foundation (MELF), who cite the tremendous gains for Minnesota's economy
if we make a long-term, sustained investment in early learning and the
risks we face by not doing so.
- Establish clear standards for early childhood learning and then
measure and report levels of achievement to families and providers.
- Tie money (both public and private) to attainment of these standards
- pay for results, not good intentions.
- Expand public funding for early childhood education so that every
child in a low-income or at-risk family can afford early learning
opportunities. Put this money - along with family mentoring services - in
the hands of families and let them use it to get the best program for
their child. [Cost = $100 million]
- Make all-day, every-day kindergarten available to every child in
Minnesota. [Cost = $150 million]
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