Friday, December 28, 2012
December 28, 2012: Making My List (Again), Part Five
[Last year around the holidays, I shared a few items on my AmericanStudier wish list, things I hope Americans could do and be. In this most wonderful time of the year™, I wanted to do the same with a handful of new wishes for the AmericanStudies Elves. Please share your own wishes and hopes, and I’ll add ‘em to the weekend’s post and make sure the Elves get ‘em too. Thanks, and happy holidays!]
On the educational experience that I wish all American children could have.
Today is the birthday of my first Guest Poster, one of the most inspiring Americans I know, and, yes, my Mom, Ilene Railton. I wrote in the post hyperlinked under “the most inspiring Americans” about the amazing work that she has been able to do and contribute to as part of the Albemarle County (Virginia) Bright Stars preschool program. I also made the case, in the first paragraph of this post on John Dewey, for why preschool should be universally available to—in fact, mandatory for—all American children (especially those in the most desperate situations, such as the Bright Stars kids; but really all of them, with no exceptions). Given that, as I wrote in that Dewey post, a year of such universal preschool for all American children could be paid for simply by the additional revenue that would be gained if the Bush tax cuts for the highest tax bracket were allowed to expire, I find it frankly disgusting that our society seems to prioritize garage elevators (for example) over universal preschool.
I don’t know that there’s much more I need to say, AmericanStudies Elves. I wish that all American kids could get at least one year of preschool education. But even more than that, I wish that we as a society could prioritize education period, early childhood education specifically, and such ideas in general so much more fully and centrally than we do. I believe a lot of our most challenging and destructive problems would be substantially ameliorated by such programs and priorities. But I also believe that we’d be a better, stronger, more communal nation as a result, one significantly closer to the best of our ideals and what we could be. Let’s make it happen, Elves!
Crowd-sourced wishes this weekend,
PS. So last chance: what do you think? Responses to this wish? Wishes of your own you’d share with the Elves?