We are in a crisis!
Did you know multiple State Colleges and Universities are eliminating their teacher education programs?
Did you know existing teacher education programs are 30% of what they were only five or six years ago?
Did you know we are currently experiencing a teacher shortage throughout Michigan?
Did you know class sizes have increased upwards of 20% in the last 10 years?
Did you know research shows the best education a child can receive is in their public school?
I live this every day. By the time our legislators figure out that we are in a real crisis, it will take another two - four years to increase educational funding to a point we are once again recruiting teacher candidates. Then it will take an additional five years to educate a new teacher. We are running out of time. This needs to be addressed now!!
COMMON SENSE AND MODERATION
I think I am like most people who tend to see both sides of most situations. I don't want someone to tell me what my values should be, and I really have no interest in telling you what your values should be. Values are personal, and morality should not be legislated.
CHILDREN ARE OUR BEST INVESTMENT
We adopted our daughter, Karissa when she was five. When we received her into our foster home, she was emaciated, filthy, and required every baby tooth to be filled, crowned or pulled. She was not potty trained, was fearful and reactive, and did not know how to eat any food that was not processed or from a can...and she started kindergarten right alongside every other kindergarten student.
We took her in. We loved her with all we had. We brought all of our combined teacher tools to bare. And still, it took this beautiful, perfect, artistic child until her freshman year to be fully caught-up to grade level in reading...and she knew it.
But what if her mother would have had access to free childcare and preschool from the beginning? Sure, she could have gone to Head Start if mom were the kind of mom to register her and had transportation to get her there. But Karissa's family was a whole other level of poor. To the health and human services system, they were nearly invisible.
These are the families that need to be entered into the system of education from day 1 in the hospital. In-home parent training that is ongoing for the first year. Then a follow-up at ages 2, 4 and 6 to make sure education is occurring and to keep a watchful eye for other at-risk behaviors, like the violence that sent Karissa's father to prison. These investments would pay off exponentially. Not only in social stability, but also in tax dollars, when these children become a positive member of society.