Letter to the editor | Beyond the bottom line

July 11, 2013 

In the July 3 editorial “Bennett Center debate not about transparency,” the CDT editorial board states, “Frankly, we find it refreshing that the institution would move toward increased efficiency, even as it strives to maintain the quality of the Bennett Center’s programs.”

At the heart of this statement is the profound misconception that what is good for business is good for human services.

The importation of business models and corporate intrusions into education has been ongoing for many years, at the great detriment of children and teachers nationwide.

A 2005 study from Yale University showed that 3- and 4-year-olds are three times more likely to be expelled from pre-kindergarten settings than K-12 classrooms, and these expulsions occur twice as often in private religious and corporate-managed day care centers than in public and Head Start classrooms.

The study points to the higher level of care, including child-adult ratio, number of children in a class and the qualification of teachers in public facilities compared with private and for-profit facilities as significant.

Bennett Center shares with these public pre-kindergartens a mission to serve all the children that come to them and not just those whose intellectual, physical or behavioral traits and talents are a convenient match to the corporate cost-saving measures.

In light of our recent experiences, I would think that Penn State would have come to realize that what is best for the fiscal bottom line can turn out to be the most costly decision in many ways.

Gail Boldt

State College

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