In this legislative session, the leaders of our fine state have wisely prioritized education, including early childhood, and hooray for them. An educated society is vitally important to our state and to this country. The facts show that the earlier children begin, the better.

Scientific breakthroughs in understanding brain development make it clear that the early years are a unique period of development and early experiences form the foundation for future success. Only 41 percent of Texas third-graders are reading at grade-level, and low-income students are at 30 percent.

If a child is behind in third grade reading, it’s difficult to catch up, and statistics show that children will most likely drop out of school before they finish high school. Those are very sad statistics and Texas needs to change them. A way to change is to begin early.

If Texas legislators were to track what’s going on in Galveston, they would see a unique model for early childhood learning and one where the early data shows that it’s paying off. It’s expensive, but if the state would invest now in funding early childhood education,

Texas would save monies it spends on remedial education, homelessness, crime, incarcerations and lost wages.

The Moody Early Childhood Center’s pre-K3 children’s test scores from the time they entered our classrooms in August, and what they are now after testing on Jan. 15 demonstrate that teaching children at 3 years old is very productive. Recognizing upper case letters, scores from August to mid-January were 11 percent higher, in recognizing shapes, it was 19 points higher, and knowing numbers from 1-5 scores were 22 percent higher — all within 4 ½ months. Imagine what all of Texas’s children could be if they had the benefits of the same type of early education.

The center was developed almost three years ago. It began as a nonprofit for children 6 weeks to 3 years old. Today it’s an in district charter school of Galveston Independent School District, the only one of its kind in Texas. It’s supported with family tuition, tax dollars and philanthropic donations and grants. What makes us unique is our programs.

We teach and support the entire family — not just the child. Our children have a curriculum no matter how young. We have qualified trained teachers, low class ratios, and we counsel our parents on everything from health, jobs, finances, mental health, dental health, and being the best parent they can be to their children. This is a model that Texas should support, and Texas businesses should jump on the bandwagon to lend their support. Our students are their future employees.

To our legislature, make Texas a leader in education. Recognize the importance of funding full day pre-K3, and pre-K4. A full day allows the children to learn and grow and enter kindergarten ready to learn. It allows the parents to work full-time knowing their children are in a safe learning environment. Fund and provide early childhood education for all of Texas early learners by giving us universal all day pre-K3-4. The payback will be worth every dime.

Jeri Kinnear lives in Galveston.


(22) comments

Robert Braeking

That makes a lot of sense. Start the indoctrination early so the child knows nothing but the state controlled propaganda. Marx and Engels would be proud. Would that a child is taught that dinosaurs died out 'millions of years' ago. It is important that a child learn that Evolution is the one true God and that the God of the Bible is nothing but a fairy tale.

Gary Scoggin

You mean that the dinosaurs didn’t die out millions of years ago? I want to go see one, then. Where should I go?

Robert Braeking

Most dinosaurs died in Noah's flood 4400 years ago. You burn them in your car. Those that survived the flood (on the barge) were unable to survive in the reduced oxygen and atmospheric pressure after the flood. There are a few exceptions.

You have been duped, Gary Scoggin, by the Evolutionists. When the Evolutionist religion is taught in our schools I object. It is a religion as one must take it on faith because there is not one iota of scientific evidence for it.

Gary Scoggin

Most produced oil comes from decayed plant life not dinosaurs. And got played a mean trick on those petroleum geologists by placing that plant life deep enough where it sure looks a lot older than 5500 years. For someone that’s been duped, as you say, they sure are good at finding oil.

Als, please tell me more about the reduced oxygen and atmospheric pressure. I’d be eager to know how that worked.

Gary Scoggin

"It is a religion as one must take it on faith because there is not one iota of scientific evidence for it." Just to be clear, you are talking about Young Earth Creationism here, correct?

Gary Scoggin

"Those that survived the flood (on the barge) were unable to survive in the reduced oxygen and atmospheric pressure after the flood." Could you explain how the flood caused reduced oxygen and atmospheric pressure?

Robert Braeking

Gary Scroggin needs to read his bible. Prior to the flood there was a layer of water above the atmosphere and water below the land. It is all explained if you would care to read it. Prior to the flood most of the area of the earth was arable land. With plant life extending from pole to pole there was a lot of photosynthesis going on to elevate the oxygen levels. The air pressure was elevated because of the waters above the heaven (singular. that's where the birds fly). Read on to get that little tidbit.

The religion to which I was referring is Evolutionism. Not an iota of scientific evidence so it must be taken on faith.

Carlos Ponce

"6 weeks to 3 years old"
When the child grows up, whose values will he or she have? If you have parents whose values aren't that good that may be a good thing but most parents have good values. If you let the government raise your child don't be surprised when a "stranger" walks into your house claiming you as parents and challenging your mores. Starting with the 1950s, parents let television raise their children. And television devolved into what is available today. Why are people surprised with the outcome?

Don Schlessinger


Gary Miller

Carlos. Right again.

George Croix

Government paid day care, by any other name.....

"Only 41 percent of Texas third-graders are reading at grade-level, and low-income students are at 30 percent."

There's that convenient way of saying something without revealing all of what is being said.
What percent of 'Texas third graders' are illegally here, and/or are in ESL classes, and so would be expected to have a harder time?
Why does being low income cause reading problems, other than as an excuse for low expectations, or another sidebar to the problem of hundreds of thousands of low income people streaming into the state with literacy issues, too?

Mourn the dearth, if not death, of open information presented as it is, not as it's wanted to be perceived...
IMO, as always

Gary Scoggin

There is a difference between day care and ECI. ECI is about teaching children basic math and reading skills. The goal is to give these kids a better chance at success. There are lots of reasons that lower income families have lower reading skills, low expectations among them. But One way to help break that cycle is to start educating people much earlier, which the GISD program does. Full disclosure: I was part of a group looking at creating a similar largely privately funded effort on the Mainland. Then Harvey happened.

I don’t know the percentage of non-English speakeing kids in the Galveston program, but I seriously doubt it’s illegal immigration driving this train.

George Croix

The article made the Texas-wide connection, Gary, and it used stae-wide figures and calls for the state legislature to fund such programs with state revenues, and there's zero doubt that exactly that problem of unchecked illegal immigration and the resulting need for special teaching and ESL is what causes Texas and other high illegals populations to score lower in basic reading skills - if you can't read, you don't score very high... That is a basic reasoning skill, one seemingly in short supply all over these days...
This article specifically points out 6 WEEKS to 3 years age group. I've got an ocean front property with an English bridge on it I'll give free for anyone who can say teaching basic math and reading skills to a 'less-than-one-year-old is, absent a prodigy, anything other than state funded daycare, in reality, I mean, not in their own minds, the same minds that conclude it's just marvelous for 'scientific studies' to conclude what anybody with a couple of functioning cells already knows.....
I think it would be a great privately funded program(s) here locally and everywhere else. Back When we used to call it daughter attended, and my grandkids.
Before we toss more public money, even as we bemoan lack of funding, at 'potential' and include an age group that is more interested in a milk bottle than a book, we should address problems we already have to contend with, now, daily, every day....
Moral relativism, like funding, only goes so far.

Gary Scoggin

I’d like to make an offer on that ocean front property. Many basic language and analytical skills are formed in that 3 month to 3 year time frame. There are exercises and activities that set the stage for future learning. At this age it’s less about reading and math but more about getting them ready to learn reading and math. There’s been a lot of sciencing around that. Early childhood is much different from day care in that it promotes brain development and is a lot more than grandmas rocking babies.

Most of the public money available for these programs are targeted at working mothers. There is a daycare co potent to this, in that these programs childcare so that the mother can work but many of the activities during the day are different.

George Croix

You did notice the offer was for the under 1 year age group, huh....?
There's NO doubt that children benefit from stimulation, but tossing them into a group setting with all kinds of kids with all kinds of learning abilities is NOT the same as one-to-one stimulus, and certainly not the same as when delivered by the parents the kid sees all the time. It's expensive, somebody-else-pays, day care. Not backing away an inch on that, and my land and bridge remain secure.
Even the 2 to 4 year old age groups in a preschool setting need HOME reinforcement to reach their full capability. For that matter, the seniors in High school need the same.
Gary, I read to my daughter from the first day...the first day...she was home from the hospital. And as often as possible. I still have that very same 'Snoopy' reader and it's priceless to me. BEFORE she was one year old, before she could even talk, she'd bounce and wiggle if I tried to skip a page or two in that book...she KNEW I was not doing it right, even if unable to read personally.
That does not come in a group setting at that age.
And it feeds off the parent/child bond.

What this country does NOT need, imo, is even MORE reasons for parents to do less with their kids, and/or to treat having them as someone else's responsibility after birth.

I think a lot of the disconnect comes in people's various backgrounds and experiences. It's the difference between the never ending hope and theory by some that all things can be solved and all lives enhanced and all saved, and the sure and certain knowledge by others that they cannot all be.
Life is a lifeboat, Gary, not an endless cornucopia. If you try to save them all, you end up saving none................

Miceal O'Laochdha

"Scientific breakthroughs in understanding brain development make it clear that the early years are a unique period of development...". Good grief, how many idiots are making their living developing scientific breakthroughs that tell us something everyone on Earth, in every society and culture, has already known forever? Yes little children absorb vast amounts of information in their earliest years and that information should come primarily from their families, not the State.

George Croix

I thought that was really brilliant, too. Sorta like declaring that scientific breakthroughs make it clear that oxygen plays a unique role in our lives....
Maybe related to Capt. Obvious on those motel commercials......

Gary Miller

It started soon after the Feds got control of local schools. The idea that more money ment more education. Ever since we got less education per dollar spent. Failure became a reason for more money, more money bought more failure. There are schools educating better with less money. Universal school choice could put all students in the cheaper/better schools. Union influenced ISD schools are not those Cheaper/Better schools and will fight any reforms.

Jose' Boix

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
assesses student performance in reading at grades 4, 8,
and 12 in both public and private schools across the
nation. NAEP reading scale scores range from 0 to 500
for all grade levels. URL:
One rational way to make a comparative argument is by using long-term trends such as presented by the NAEP data. Assuming this data is appropriate, the key concern is that we have basically "flat-lined" progress according to data since the 1990s. We need to get with the tenets of the continuous improvement process something that seemingly is absent as we look at the NAEP data. Just my thoughts.

George Croix

Today I learned that carbon dating is a sham.........?

Anyway, look, it's up to each to believe whatever they want, but right now there's at least a couple of full scale models of The Ark that were built supposedly using the measurements given in the Bible - one in Kentucky and one in the Netherlands, if memory serves.....BOTH are in the about 500 foot long x 85 to 90 feet wide x 50 to 70' tall range, give or take a bit.
That puts each of them smaller than a big oil tanker.
The simple fact is that unless there were many many orders of magnitude fewer beast and fowl on the earth before the Flood, or else they were all microscopic in size then grew to full size after exiting the Ark, then the Ark, or ten Arks, or a Hundred Arks, could not possibly have held a mating pair of each living species on the planet, nor could a beast from North or South America or Australia or Antarctica make it's way to the Middle East.
The time frames don't work.
The sizes and quantities don't work.
The geography doesn't work.

It helps me to remember that 'The Earth' at the time of Noah was WAY smaller than we know it actually is, not geographically, but practically, because it consisted only of the areas known to exist by the people living in or visiting the lands where Noah lived.
As such, there's nothing preventing multiple 'Noah's and multiple Arks, as each major culture has it's own ancient stories of a Great Flood, and that would at least lower the odds against total repopulation in only a few thousand years with LOTS of heavy duty procreating all around.....

But dinosaurs at the time of any and all Noahs?


Gary Scoggin

George, please don’t add to the confusion with rational thought and facts. Many on this forum can’t handle that.

George Croix

I won't let it happen again, Gary......[beam][beam][beam]

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