Cigarettes for Preschoolers

OK, now I’m against state-funded preschool. Because no preschool at all is better than this kind of atrocity:

This year, more than 6,600 children are learning by logging on to laptops at home in a taxpayer-funded online preschool program. This is preschool without circle time on the carpet, free play with friends and real, live teachers. In online preschool, children navigate through a series of lessons, games and songs with the help of a computer mouse and two animated raccoons named Rusty and Rosy. The Obama administration last year awarded an $11.5 million grant to expand the online program into rural communities.

Fuck you, Obama. And fuck you, Rusty and Rosy.

Rural communities! It’s like poisoning the water supply in these rural communities and using taxpayer money to do it. I see no difference between this and giving cigarettes to preschoolers.

And here is a predictor of academic underachievement for racial minorities:

White children are exposed to screens significantly less than African-American and Hispanic children.

This is extremely troubling. And this is exactly why I keep saying that it’s not true that there is too much talk about race. There are almost no conversations about what really matters in terms of race, and this is an example.

By the way, today – the Monday after a very busy news week and days before the election – articles #1, 3, and 6 on the NYTimes most popular list are about the dangers of technology for children. This is what people care about.

15 thoughts on “Cigarettes for Preschoolers”

  1. Nobody wants to actually pay native born or permanent resident teachers to teach their young. So it’s this:

    Utah’s approach, which is far cheaper than traditional preschool programs and can reach students in the state’s most ­remote areas, is to some critics an example of a common problem: Lawmakers want to harness the oft-touted benefits of early-childhood education without investing enough to ensure quality.

    “It’s wishful thinking by state legislatures,” said Steven Barnett, the director of the National ­Institute for Early Education ­Research at Rutgers University. “We want preschool, we want to get these great results, but we don’t actually want to spend the money.”

    or this:
    The job Americans won’t take: Arizona looks to Philippines to fill teacher shortage

    Inojosa has taught at Vista Grande high school in Casa Grande, Arizona since 2016. As one of several Filipino teachers employed by the local high school district, Inojosa is part of a controversial experiment in American education: bringing in teachers from developing countries to fill a teacher shortage in public schools.

    Some American public schools are turning to foreign teachers because Americans with college educations are increasingly uninterested in low-paid, demanding teaching jobs. Many teachers, struggling for a toehold in the shrinking middle class, have switched careers. And fewer college students are choosing to become teachers. The need for mathematics, science, and special education teachers is especially dire in poor and rural schools throughout the country.

    “Teaching has become a much less attractive profession,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, president of the Learning Policy Institute, an education policy thinktank, noting that American teacher salaries have fallen far behind those of other college educated workers.

    Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association, a teachers’ union, said uncompetitive teachers’ salaries have forced school administrators to look for “creative ways” to fill teacher vacancies – such as recruiting from abroad.


    1. You don’t need a teacher to teach a 4-year-old everything s/he needs to know academically. Preschool is important for a single reason: it teaches sociability skills that nobody can teach at home. And these online preschools do the exact opposite. I’d put the people who came up with this in jail because this is child abuse in already underprivileged communities. These kids are going to lag behind in every social and academic measure, their language skills will tank, they will develop early obesity and a host of psychological problems.

      I talked about this with the analyst who spends his life talking to victims of childhood abuse. The fellow literally shakes with rage when he hears about this kind of thing because it’s unrecognized abuse that masks as concern and do-gooderism. He quoted me a list of studies that made my hair stand on end. But that isn’t getting publicized because Apple needs to sell more phones.


      1. I’m not saying any of this is good at all. I’m saying this is the direct result of collectively refusing to pay people, especially when those people are helping kids who are different than you.

        In Florida, preschool teachers need a bachelor’s degree to complete certification. In Utah, they need at least an associate’s degree.

        Even if you relaxed the requirements, teaching sociability to a bunch of 4 year olds in that structured way requires paying people and maintaining and creating everything that goes into maintaining a safe, stimulating physical environment.

        And that’s just talking about normal children with no emotional, behavioral or developmental issues.

        For example, I was definitely safe with my childhood babysitter. But I was bored to tears when she made me sit and watch tv with her and she refused to interact with me at all.


        1. I very much agree with the noble goal of paying teachers more. That’s definitely a great idea. But I come into our expensive daycare last week, and what do I see? The teacher turned on cartoons for the kids. I was not happy. I don’t want to narc on the teacher to the owner but if she doesn’t quit doing it, what choice do I have?


          1. \ The teacher turned on cartoons for the kids.

            Do you believe in zero cartoons time? Can you ask Klara how often and for how long they watch TV?

            I did not grow up with a smartphone and had a computer only in high school, but did watch TV as a kid. I understand you not wanting to pay for non-stop cartoons watching, but is not an hour a day OK?


            1. The American Association of Pediatricians recommends zero minutes of screen time for kids this age. Our pediatrician agrees. So does the analyst. I have a whole group of authorities here advising me. 🙂


  2. You want people to talk about the shortcomings of parents in the black underclass? Sorry, I need my paycheck.


    1. Even most middle class black people don’t talk about that. At least not in front of white people.

      You know the one black guy who would talk about that topic in front of cameras? Bill Cosby. And there is no way in hell that I am going to use my real name to agree with any sentence ever uttered by Bill Cosby. If somebody produced a tape of Cosby saying that two plus two is four, I’d say that it’s five.


    2. \ You want people to talk about the shortcomings of parents in the black underclass?

      Have we read the same post? Why define the problem as lying in personal shortcomings of parents and not as being about bad governmental policies and parents from underprivileged communities lacking information to evaluate the damage to their kids?

      The Obama administration hardly consists of people of the black underclass. Or of the white underclass for that matter. They were the ones to promote this thing.

      Btw, I have not attended any preschools or schools till the age of almost 8, yet was not lagging behind academically, develop obesity or a host of psychological problems. But that was partly due to growing in a priviledged family.


      1. “Btw, I have not attended any preschools or schools till the age of almost 8, yet was not lagging behind academically, develop obesity or a host of psychological problems.”

        I know you are younger than me but there is definitely no way you grew up glued to a smartphone. This is a completely new set of challenges that cannot be compared to anything previously seen.


      2. I don’t think that screen time for kids in ANY group is solely arising from the Obama Administration pushing for educational apps or whatever. The Obama initiative certainly didn’t help, but it isn’t the main driver of screen time for kids in ANY American group.


        1. Obviously, I don’t blame Obama for this. This is new, so people simply don’t know. I didn’t know either until I talked to people who do research in this field.


  3. \ I don’t blame Obama for this. This is new, so people simply don’t know. I didn’t know either until I talked to people who do research in this field.

    May you write further on the subject? What has been found exactly that even 1 hour is considered so bad?

    It is not about growing up “glued to a smartphone,” but about watching TV which has been here for decades and is hardly a new technology.

    I did watch TV as did my brother and I do not think we would’ve been smarter without it.


    1. Don’t tell me you watched TV for an hour a day at 2. Two-year-olds don’t do anything for an hour (except sleep.) The longest an activity lasts is 15 minutes. Then you have to start a new activity. An hour is 4 different activities for a toddler.


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