A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

African Americans in the Matawan Journal - 27 August 1970

Forty years ago, The Matawan Journal dated 27 August 1970, page 19, contains a lengthy piece on the new trend of day care for pre-school children. One of the concerns of critics at the time was that the divide between the haves and have nots would widen as the middle-class and wealthy provided formal education for their young children while lower income families simply could not afford to send their children to daycare. The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) suggested that both rural whites and urban blacks would be at a growing disadvantage and fall farther behind educationally and economically as a result of this phenomenon. The tendency of providers to hire babysitters instead of teachers to save money was a mitigating factor, according to experts.

In this article, the NJEA expressed some subtle reservations on equal intellectual potential among the races, a position I doubt they would contemplate even hinting at today. Their statement, "All human groups probably begin life with the same general intellectual potential," doesn't exactly discredit craniometry and scientific racism.

Here's a segment of the article:

Tuition rates are high enough to eliminate those children who need preschool education most - the poor, who when excluded from the mainstream culture, have trouble learning to read and reading to learn. Therefore, some critics fear the day-care movement will increase the educational gap between middle-class children and the economically disadvantaged.

All human groups probably begin life with the same general intellectual potential, NJEA says. But children from disadvantaged homes begin to fall behind as early as the age of 18 months. This is true of white children in rural areas as well as black children in urban ghettos.


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