Boston’s “public preschool and kindergarten programs are hobbled by mediocre instruction, unsanitary classrooms, and dangerous schoolyards,” reports the Boston Globe.
The quality of instruction and facilities in 70 percent of the classrooms, the Wellesley Centers for Women study said, is inadequate to achieve the school system’s primary goal: To get the children, most of whom are black and Hispanic and from low-income families, up to speed by first grade so they are as prepared as their white and Asian peers.
While all teachers have a bachelor’s degree, some lack training in early childhood education.
In many classrooms, children spent a lot of their day sitting at desks while teachers lectured, a style frowned upon in early childhood education. As a result, half of the teachers missed signs that children were struggling, the study found.
The teachers also did not spend enough time reading to students, teaching them to use the alphabet, or having them write and instead engaged them in too many of what researchers called meaningless large group activities.
Boston has been expanding its tax-funded preschools — apparently sacrificing quality for quantity. This is what Bruce Fuller, author of Standardized Childhood, is worried about: Mass-produced, low-quality preschool that squeezes developing children into a single mold.