Curriculum for Pre-k?
At last night’s UFT Exec Board the special order of business was to approve 4 resolutions – not to send to the Delegate Assembly – but rather to send directly to the NYSUT Representative Assembly.
One of them (which I wish I had read in advance) called for curriculum for pre-k. I raised a question (unfortunately, I was not well-prepared and did not articulate well), and abstained.
In retrospect, my concern fell in two related categories (not that I expresed myself this clearly):
- Why should poor kids have curricula when rich kids don’t? I should have raised concern about losing playtime as a result.
- In every other area where we have advanced standards for students, students and teachers have been screwed, badly.
And I should have voted no.
Here’s the (innocuous-sounding) resolution. Read it, and see what you think:
Promote Early Literacy Curriculum
WHEREAS there is no uniform standard in New York State for an early child care education curriculum that promotes literacy, early learning and school readiness; and
WHEREAS early child care practitioners do not receive training beyond the state regulated 30-hour mandate for licensing purposes with a concentrated focus on literacy and child development; and
WHEREAS early care practitioners are often disadvantaged when seeking affordable and accessible professional development classes offered during non-business hours; and
WHEREAS there is no professional development training and coaching model to support the workforce in introducing learned material and curriculum into multi-aged child care settings; therefore be it
RESOLVED that New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) support the development of common early learning standards statewide in order to promote a baseline standard for early learning, literacy and school preparedness; and be it further
RESOLVED that NYSUT urge the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to support the training, recruitment and retention of a qualified early child care workforce; and be it further
RESOLVED that NYSUT urge the state to expand the eligibility requirements and accessibility of high quality early child care and pre-kindergarten programs that promote children’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development; and be it further
RESOLVED that NYSUT help promote a comprehensive professional development structure that provides differentiated, customized skill development and services to family child care providers and pre-kindergarten teachers in order to build the strong foundation children that need for successful transitions to kindergarten and future academic achievement.