February 14, 2013

Morning Line: Our helicopter president

Sam Smith - Our control freak chief executive - who has already seriously damaged about half the items in the Bill of Rights as well as (with the help of his predecessor) made growing up an endless series of multiple choice tests, now has become a true helicopter president. He wants to extend the absurdly named No Child Left Behind and Common Core to pre-school.

Mind you, there's nothing wrong with the federal funding of pre- school education. What's wrong is for the federal government to determine what's in it. It's not Washington's business, as you can read in the Tenth Amendment, but then you won't learn about that in Common Core.

You probably didn't notice the full preschool plan in the media coverage. Buried in the NY Times account was this:

"Officials said the state preschool programs would have to meet rigorous standards, have highly qualified teachers and submit to assessment programs."

In other words another gift to the corporate testing and educational consulting industry. And to what end?

Well, Obama seems quite pleased at the preschool "I visited earlier today [where] nearly 200 little kids are spending full days learning in classrooms with highly qualified teachers."

Isn't that wonderful? Preschool kids spending full days without play, without time to exercise their imaginations, without time to explore, to think and wonder, or to experiment. Time spent rather on learning how to to be dutiful, quiet servants of the system.

In time, under Common Core, they will also learn how to do this without bothering much about things like literature, philosophy, values, history, civics, wisdom, and getting along with other people in comunities.

Instead, as the President put it, "We need to make sure that we've got shared responsibility for giving every American the chance to earn the skills and education that they need for a really competitive, global job market."

That's what life is about, kids. Not the job you want but the one Obama and his friends want you to have, and that's pretty much in the fields of math, science, technology, and engineering. And, like the children of helicopter parents, you're never meant to grow up.

Wikipedia - The term "helicopter parents" is a pejorative expression [that] appeared as early as 1969 in the bestselling book Between Parent & Teenager by Dr. Haim Ginott, which mentions a teen who complains, "Mother hovers over me like a helicopter..." It gained wide currency when American college administrators began using it in the early 2000s as the millennial generation began reaching college age. Their baby boomer parents in turn earned notoriety for practices such as calling their children each morning to wake them up for class and complaining to their professors about grades the children had received. Summer camp officials have also reported similar behavior from parents.

The rise of the cell phone is often blamed for the explosion of helicopter parenting—University of Georgia professor Richard Mullendore called it "the world's longest umbilical cord". Some parents, for their part, point to rising college tuitions, saying they are just protecting their investment or acting like any other consumer.

Madeline Levine has written on helicopter parenting. Judith Warner recounts Levine's descriptions of "parents who are physically hyper-present but somehow psychologically M.I.A." Katie Roiphe, commenting on Levine's work in Slate elaborates on myths about helicopter parenting. "It is about too much presence, but it's also about the wrong kind of presence. In fact, it can be reasonably read by children as absence, as not caring about what is really going on with them ... As Levine points out, it is the confusion of over-involvement with stability."


Uncle Goat said...

You got to get them while they're young. Make sure the only value any child has is the value as a worker.
No one wants to raise a poet or some kind of thinker. Those guys never make any money.

Walter F. Wouk said...

"The Corporate State" doesn't want independent individuals such as poet and thinkers -- unless they're government approved poets and thinkers.