April 5th, 2011

LISTEN: Mothers Searching For Balance

( Click here to download the podcast )

This podcast is a companion piece to our reporting for PBS NewsHour on the Chicago preschool vocabulary gap; the PBS report is embedded above.

In cash-strapped Chicago, schools are facing cuts at every level. This includes programs for Chicago’s littlest students: preschoolers.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) provides free preschool for about 30,000 three and four years olds, but that’s not even half of those who need early education.

With too many preschool-aged kids and not enough money, CPS faced a difficult choice: Should it serve more students but spend less on each one? Or should it spend more money but serve fewer students?  In the end, it chose to serve as many students as it could, even though that meant programs would last only 2.5 hours a day and would be closed in the summer. This situation creates a host of challenges for working moms in Chicago.

In this podcast, we examine three specific cases of mothers fighting to maintain balance.

John Merrow, Cat McGrath and David Wald of Learning Matters report.

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My own children attended public schools when we could not afford private, and private when we could almost afford private. We have dug deep and raised lots of money to support our children’s education. I’m afraid the truth today is that public schools are no longer free. Parents must become skilled at fundraising to support our public schools. There is nothing more important that the child, this child, these children. Waiting for overhaul to a broken system will not serve our schools in the meantime.

Jesus Christ! 6 kids and she’s a single mother? My tax dollars are helping to support this idiot! And, as far as staying home with your kids - it’s not “being in a box”. It’s what moms DO. You don’t need a plastic toy connected to the tv set to teach your children about letters and numbers. Give me a break…this article was more than I could listen to!

I have to agree with Diana. Public schools do not exist to create a time alone away from your kids. There is SO much a parent can do at home with their kids. And turn off the stupid television. There is nothing more important than our children. Apparently his woman has way too many to be able to be an effective parent and is wanting the schools to do her job for her. Maybe she should be taking parenting classes. Her 6 kids are why so many other parents opt for private schools or homeschooling.

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