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Study Shows Most Kids Not Ready for Kindergarten


Thursday, February 27, 2014
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Most area kids may not be ready for kindergarten, according to recent data presented to the Santa Barbara Unified School District at Tuesday’s board meeting. Only 37 percent of nearly 600 students tested were considered “ready to go.” Though close to half of “non-disadvantaged, English-proficient students” were considered prepared, the numbers were much lower for female and male low-income English learners ​— ​19.2 and 11.2 percent, respectively.

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sounds like a parenting problem

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 9:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It is indeed a parenting problem, but very often compounded by poverty and various social inequities in our highly stratified society. This 37% number is why the State of Ca and other government organizations believe we need free pre-school for all children.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 9:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Education starts at home.

gannysesh (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 9:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So who's looking for $$$ so they can solve this?

Reality check: (No, not a reference to the blogger of the same name) Kids with no English have been enrolled in kindergarten and higher grades since the inception of Kindergarten and done just fine. Back in the days when we had a functioning public education system they would be English-proficient within a matter of months. Once again, what should be common sense is politicized by our public education system, to which we are required to pay tax dollars. Since this is happening on my dollar, I have as much as say in this as anyone else.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2014 at 3:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

you can say what you like, BC, and I read it.
It's simply untrue when you state "Kids with no English have been enrolled in kindergarten and higher grades since the inception of Kindergarten and done just fine." Untrue!
Further, study after study shows that socio-economic background is absolutely the essential predictor of success in school: it's all about the zip code, man. 93108 -- the kids will do great whatever their ethnic background. Think MUS and Cold Spring School. Oh, 93101? -- students will fare very poorly on standardized tests from this less-well-off area of SB: think Harding and McKinley (their state test scores are horrendously low). I live near Harding School: it is a great school with hardworking teachers and 600 wonderful children, but a lot is stacked against them. Sure, ganny, education does start at home, and IF there's a stable home situation moms and dads can do this, but if there's a single parent, & she's working 2 jobs, the kids will eat in the backseat of her car most of the time and she's being successful to keep the kids fed, safe, and sheltered. Working on those math problems etc. comes way down the list. DavyBrown is correct: all students need state-supported pre-school, it's a good place to start.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2014 at 3:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I grew up in a multi-ethnic area where kids, indeed, learned English via a de facto "immersion" system. It seemed to work. I have sympathy for the working poor/single mothers; I was raised by one. However,it doesn't take that much time, energy or money to read together with one's kids (in whatever language), visit the public library, encourage good habits and so on. At some point, parental responsibility and accountability need to apply. (Those need not always be buzzwords associated with Libertarian/conservative types--I am neither.)
This sort of reminds me of a discussion in another thread about the supposed lack of nutritious food available for the poor.
I noted the fallacy of a scene in "Food, Inc.," wherein a poor family subsisted on fast food and giant-sized sodas, purchased on the way to work and school, because they were too "busy" and couldn't "afford" real food. This, despite the fact that at least one of the adults was on expensive medications for diabetes and other ailments. Packing the basic PB and J with some extras always worked for me and for my kids in turn. Sometimes, not always, it is about choices and making the right ones.

zappa (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2014 at 5:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What are they testing? What are the criteria for Kindergarten readiness?

sanderson (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2014 at 9:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan: Unless my parents and so many others from generations past lied to me, when you entered school you learned English.

The reason the socio-economic backround of so many kids now is one of poverty is because the ethnic "advocacy" groups and those that support them won, managed to cut off their noses to spite their own faces, and (here I go again but it's apropos) killed the goose that laid the Golden Egg.

If you don't speak the language of the land in which you live, you generally don't get very far, and you tend to get taken advantage of, and when these facts are pointed out to the "multicultural" advocates, they get confrontational and throw in Red Herrings.

Yes, we get it: Lots of poor Hispanics, the question is "why?" and an honest look at the paternalistic hierarchial approach that has resulted in the misery index in Mexico being through the roof (and is the foundation of the multicultural philosphy here) will provide the answer, but facts make stiff-necked idealists uncomfortable.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2014 at 6:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Really Bill C? THIS is the reason kids live in poverty?: "The reason the socio-economic backround of so many kids now is one of poverty is because the ethnic "advocacy" groups and those that support them won..." Blah blah.

I WISH it were that simple. English speaking or not, the economy and job market are just a tad different from when you went to school, BC. You might want to take a look at the low wage service economy around the country, and also consider how that impacts families in high cost communities/low industry places like SB. DrDan is right, poverty outweighs every factor in depressing educational achievement. So blaming schools and/or parents is a great way to deflect attention from the failures of this economic system. And a great way to preserve the status quo, and who benefits from that?

P. S. Public school is conducted in English--just like in the past!

SBPorVida (anonymous profile)
March 2, 2014 at 7:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

c'mon Bill, SBPorVida eviscerated your comment... really, blah blah, your angle makes little sense

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 2, 2014 at 5:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

SBPorVida's points do not in and of themselves "eviscerate" mine, they are only different points addressing the same overall issue.

I am well aware of how real estate prices have gone through the roof, but this isn't JUST about ONE ethnic group. ANYBODY who is working-class has no chance of buying into the American Dream in coastal California, and I think that is what you (SBPorVida) are saying, and I've been saying that extensively as of late. Yep, good ol' "progressive" S.B. can pat itself on the back until it has carpal tunnel syndrome but in the end, ALL races are affected. As for the cheap labor economy, I've addressed that numerous times as well. The only thing I'm saying that (so far and as far as I know) DrDan and yourself fail to address is the reality that if you don't speak the language of the country in which you live, you will not get very far, and people will take advantage of you. That is why my dark-skinned ancestors who came to the U.S. at the turn of the last century made sure to learn English, and assimilate. Believe me, it wasn't easy for them, speaking a language which (unlike Spanish) is totally incomprehensible to English-speakers, and not even written the same way. There were no civil rights laws back then, but they know the most potent weapon was literacy. They had one advantage that Mexican immigrants (and once again, everyone else) living in this area don't have: (Although our "progressive" politicians won't touch this with a ten-foot pole since they have created the problem) They were able to ply their creative abilities and start businesses because they were not saddled with endless gov ernment regulations, fees, permits, and legal impediments. If you are from Mexico, have a good work ethic and creative ideas to make money started a business, how can you do this with all these regulations?...plus being kept on the linguistic plantation thanks to all the "bilingual services"? Moreover, while (after tremendous resistance from the advocacy groups) public education instruction is back to English, (although the fight is still on by advocates wanting kids to be classified as "English Learners") when huge numbers of parents are not proficient in the language, how can that not handicap these kids?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 2, 2014 at 6:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This 37% number is why the State of Ca and other government organizations believe we need free pre-school for all children.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 9:31 a.m.

Why is that one?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
March 2, 2014 at 10:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

BC, I see what you're saying but disagree about a) the prevalence of bilingual services; b) whether there's any proven correlation between info being available in Spanish and immigrants not learning English, as you suggest; and c) that people not learning English is the fault of progressives and advocates. One might want to examine the barriers to the working poor learning English (time, money, family obligations) rather than focusing on how immigrants are supposedly being aided in not learning English.

And yes, parents' English fluency can impact their kids. But is this the primary problem for education and school readiness? Of course not. But once again it blames parents (and the left of course--always a bonus!) without giving enough weight to the truly primary problems--which, as you say, affect the working class all across racial/cultural lines. And since the working poor regardless of race/culture experience the same challenges with academic acheivement regardless of what language the parents speak, it's clear there are much greater issues here than that. so I don't know why one would want latch onto parent language as a big issue... It's larger systems that need to change. And if change won't happen, we can at least work to mitigate the effects of those systems. But only if we accurately identify where problems really come from.

SBPorVida (anonymous profile)
March 5, 2014 at 8:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I will address some of your points'

"(We) disagree about a) the prevalence of bilingual services; b) whether there's any proven correlation between info being available in Spanish and immigrants not learning English, as you suggest; and c) that people not learning English is the fault of progressives and advocates."

The services are very prevalent. B: It is only natural that having these would impede English learning because human nature is such that if you do not have to learn a second language, you usually won't. I present as evidence the fact that the vast majority of Americans do not speak a second language, and if they do, it is usually because they were exposed to one as a child. C: It IS the fault of progressives, and ALSO the fault of the big business interests on the Right who know that immigrants fluent in English are a threat to their ability to keep them trapped in their low wage cycle. If I come across as picking on progressives, it's because they should know that literacy in the language of the land is power, or what comes to mind is "saber es poder".

"One might want to examine the barriers to the working poor learning English (time, money, family obligations) rather than focusing on how immigrants are supposedly being aided in not learning English."

Italian, Poles, Czechs, Russians and others coming to Ellis Island?...how were THEY able to assimilate? Again, my point about human nature covers this.

"And yes, parents' English fluency can impact their kids. But is this the primary problem for education and school readiness? Of course not. But once again it blames parents"

No, I'm not blaming the parents, and ironically, if you've read my previous posts on the gang problem where people blame the parents, you will find me in opposition to these people. Again, it's the fact that they don't have to learn English/the ability to move upward. The secondary impact on the kids is the low self-esteem they develop when they see other nationalities assimilating and getting ahead, while they see their parents being told "why bother?" (To learn English)

.".. (and the left of course--always a bonus!) without giving enough weight to the truly primary problems--which, as you say, affect the working class all across racial/cultural lines. And since the working poor regardless of race/culture experience the same challenges with academic acheivement regardless of what language the parents speak, it's clear there are much greater issues here than that. so I don't know why one would want latch onto parent language as a big issue... It's larger systems that need to change. And if change won't happen, we can at least work to mitigate the effects of those systems. But only if we accurately identify where problems really come from."

SBPorVida (anonymous profile)
March 5, 2014 at 8:35 p.m

.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 5, 2014 at 10:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

(part two of two)

Literacy/education is the true way of empowerment. This is why slaveowners made sure Blacks were not allowed to read and write. Raise expectations, learn from oppressed groups who have succeeded, (Jews, Asians, etc) and address the "vendepatrias" attitude directed at those who try to succeed academically. I saw plenty of it when I went to school.

Ojala que me haga entender. Intento simplemente partir sugerencias para solucionar el problema que nos enfrentamos.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 5, 2014 at 10:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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