Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The First 1000 Days Of CT's Children Belongs To The State

On the heels of CT Governor, Jodi Rell's announcement a few days ago of accelerated certification for Pre-K teachers (as if people need certification to teach 3 and 4 year olds), the Governor and the National Governor’s Association held a summit, on January 15th, to introduce the State’s first birth to three system framework called,"First Words, First Steps".

You didn't really think that Birth to 3 would be excluded from government intrusion, did you? It's the piece of cradle to grave statism they have been pursuing for a while now.The Governor established this early Childhood Research and Policy Council through Executive Order 13, in February 2006.

Under the guise of shaping Connnecticut's investment to improve school readiness for all children, government will now be more involved in family life. Home visits, screening, tracking and intervention is the road we are traveling. at the taxpayer expense, no less. This includes prenatal care as well. If you are pregnant, or have children, there will be no escaping the government from being in your family's business. Their goal will be to create more government dependence, and according to a speech delivered by Elaine Zimmerman, Executive Director, Commission On Children; heck, they'll even pay your utility bills and feed your kids!

Their 2006 preliminary report "Ready by 5, Fine by Nine" (and here is the final version) says this:
About 42,000 children are born in Connecticut each year. It is the goal of the Connecticut Early Childhood Education Cabinet that all of them make timely developmental progress each year from birth to 5, that they stand at the kindergarten door fully ready for the grand adventure of schooling, and that they achieve demonstrable early academic success in vital basic skills during their elementary school years. They cannot do this alone. Families, communities, schools, the state and the early childhood work force all have important roles to play in children’s development and early learning.
So the major assumption is that parents are incapable of having, nurturing, and raising children on their own. The state must intervene in a variety of ways of course in the guise of "help", and of course their help is "for the children". This is despite the fact that in this report they admit that only a small number of families are in need:
"Cabinet members learned that many young children in Connecticut are healthy and are developing largely on target with what is expected for their age. However, as many as three in 10 young Connecticut children face important challenges to their development, challenges that could affect their readiness for kindergarten and their ongoing academic achievement. While a small number of these children may live in virtually all Connecticut communities, a much smaller number of towns are home to most of the state’s at-risk young children."
So even though only a small number of children are facing challenges, we will be undertaking a huge multi-agency program to micro-manage all CT families, not just those who are seeking assistance. This includes plans for universal preschool, mental health assessments of all children in schools and daycares, home visits, and all sorts of other intrusive programs that will ultimately dictate to parents how to care for their own children.

We already have seen with many families that if help or advice from the State is refused, that families are reported to DCF, and all sorts of miserable things can happen. If the "experts" in state agencies make "recommendations" as to the course of treatment, or the way in which children should be raised, and educated, and parents reject those recommendations, then you can bet that coercive measures will be taken by these agencies to get parents to comply, whether those recommendations are justified, workable, or desirable by the families, or not. We are beginning to lose the ability as parents to decide what is best for our own children! (if we haven't lost them already)

The First 1000 Days report is here and it is downright Orwellian. It is a multi-agency assault on the family in CT led by our Governor.

One of the points in this report is this:
"There is not yet a cohesive system for young children that supports good child outcomes and meets customer need. Family support, physical and mental health, early care and education and literacy should be aligned and integrated with data driven planning."
CT taxpayers can look for money to be spent on computer systems that are designed to gather information on and track every single child and family. And that's just a small piece of this comprehensive plan. CT is fast becoming a nanny state, and an expensive one at that.

Taxpayer dollars should not be spent to intrude upon the family and ultimately coerce families into raising their children the way the State deems best. This absolutely is NOT the role of government, and CT parents ought to see what this aggressive agenda is really all about; inserting government in the role of parent.


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

This is very scary.
I saw a book in the bookstore the other day called Liberal Fascism. I don't know what the book is about, yet, but this kind of so-called benevolent intervention makes that title come to my mind.

What is especially scary is that usually when government "experts" get involved, they are wrong. They tend to misread scientific information to give it the most definitive spin. Just think about the McGovern report on nutrition in 1977, and what it did to the health of the people of this nation. And that was merely a report--people were not forced to follow it. But follow they did, right off a cliff!

Rational Jenn said...

Wow. Just . . . wow.

This was the part that got me:

Families, communities, schools, the state and the early childhood work force all have important roles to play in children’s development and early learning.

Parents (families) are not merely members of an overall childrearing team. They do not play "important roles"; they ARE the MOST important roles. For very young children, they should be almost the ONLY roles (in my humble).

This presumption by the State that it somehow has a genuine interest in exactly how children are raised is very, very dangerous. Too many adults are willing to be parented by the Nanny State--is it any wonder they should welcome such parenting assistance from the State?

I did not reproduce on behalf of the US Government!


Kristina said...

Wow! That is so scary! How can people give up their freedom for state assistance? Do they not realize they are giving up their freedom? Do we not realize that every time we take a little more "help", we're giving up a lot more freedom?

sunniemom said...

Well, they do have a point there. I mean, even though when I went to K-4 I was already reading, I could not master shoe-tying. I am still traumatized by the stigma I suffered in school for needing help to tie my shoes. Thank God for Velcro. It saved me from years of therapy.

If the state had had the power at the time, they could've been there for me and made sure I was ready for the challenge of K-4. How can we leave such important things in the hands of parents! Imagine- teaching me to read, but not teaching me to tie my shoes!

[This post brought to you by Smart-Aleks Unlimited]

Crimson Wife said...

I've been reading lately about the proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While I'm leery about mucking around too much with the document, there really does seem to be a growing threat to parental authority from state, Federal, and even international bureaucrats.

cttaxed said...

Good intentions gone bad.

From the state's point of view and this is the point you are missing, and this is where the "gone bad" part comes in.

The state is faced with a cycle of failure in what is clearly a permanent class of not under-achievers but non-achievers.

Generation after generation.

Where 1 out of 3 or 4 teenage girls in Hartford are with child. Where literally somewhere around 2,400 teenagers give live birth in Hartford every year.

Where the schools no matter what they have tried and they have tried ! Continue to fail at teaching the kids to a basic level of skills.

Don't kid yourselves blue state Connecticut, our inner city schools are among the worst in the country.

Frankly the schools administrators and teachers have tried just about everything and nothing seems to work.

This universal p-k is not about your children it's about children in this cycle of non-achievement.

It's about getting these children AWAY from the parents for at least part of the day and putting them in a somewhat reasonable quality program. This is what cannot not be said. The good intentions gone bad is the part that it sweeps up our kids in it's net of good intentions.

It is clearly the nanny state, but there are kids in CT that need a nanny.

Will it work? Who knows? There is no evidence to indicate it will. Will it cost us as a society? Yup, a lot, both financially and yet another abdication of personal responsibility to the state.

The latest research indicates patterns can be set by a very early age. While you read to your kids from the first week after birth (some of you probably in uterus) a lot of these kids don't see a book till kindergarten.

This solution is born of sheer desperation. It's not about you and your kids.

Is it the trojan horse that extends state control over our lives. Could be!

It seems to me we are still living with hangover from the 70's, where all sorts of society controls were toppled, religion was one such wall against the collapse of society.

I've often thought what we need is a division of Irish Nuns armed with quiver of yard sticks. But alas, where could you find a division of Irish Nuns nowadays?

cttaxed said...

Do I have a solution. No.

Is this a solution? Not one I want. I'd rather the state move out of my children's education not move for greater control.

I'm worried how my kids are going to compete against the world. And if the state is pre-occupied with the chronic non-achievers with mentally absent parents, the state will not be giving my kids the education they need.

momof3feistykids said...

So ... if you don't agree that all children should develop in a homogenous way and be "ready for school" (by their definition) at 5 -- can you be a conscientious objector? Thought provoking article.

Anonymous said...

wow indeed judy. being as this is your only blog i have read, i wont comment on the "thinking blogger" award.

you are SO uninformed on this topic and should not be posting such paranoid thinking.

I work with families/children that do need intervention. The parents have all rights as to whether they chose to receive services and what those services are. *note: the PARENTS have all rights, not the children.

yes, the tax payers pay for alot of this, but you arent commenting on the millions (billions) of dollars needed to 'service' these children for the rest of their lives (welfare, jail, "medication", social and psychiatric services)when they dont get early help.

the gov. will never reach their all seeing eyes to EVERY family in CT even if they wanted to (which they don't)because that would be an impossible task and need an impossible number of people in employ.

DCF is called when abuse or severe nglect is observed. Your neighbors can call DCF, your doctor can call DCF, your mother in law can call DCF. Early Intervention Providers only call when there is physical evidence; not because a parent refuses service.

There are families in Ct who CANNOT raise, nurture and educate their children properly, due to a variety of reasons. Gov. Rell is not talking about you (assuming your children are passing the testing required by home schoolers ; )

Lighten up and stop being so selfish. There are children in Ct suffering now and who will suffer their entire lives without some help (intervention)and we all pray their parents ALLOW us to provide that help to them while they are still young enough for it to do them any real good.

Noone is giving up their freedoms by accepting state help. We are NOT going to come in and teach your kid how to tie his shoes if he can read. And as far as a poster saying that parents should be "the ONLY roles" for children is the scariest comment on this page.
It actually does take a village.