Bad lessons taught
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Regarding The Associated Press news story “Boston pupils all eat for free” (Sept. 7 and TribLIVE.com): Say what?
Regarding the letter “Head Start successful” (Sept. 9 and TribLIVE.com), in which Ray Firth, policy initiatives director in the University of Pittsburgh's Office of Child Development, says “benefits include an increase in school completion, greater earnings for Head Start alumni and less crime”: Say what?
The “free generation” of the 21st century seems to be in place. Even children from families of means are learning to opt out to the easiest side of easy — if it's free. And Firth assures us that because of these free programs from birth, “less crime” is rampant within American cities.
In his column “You don't have to stay poor” (Sept. 12 and TribLIVE.com), Walter Williams is poignant: “(I)f you stay poor, it is your fault.” And he quotes John Harold Johnson: “Wealth is less a matter of circumstance than it is a matter of knowledge and choice.”
Instead, it seems, we are teaching children just the opposite: free food, free bus rides and a free education from birth — and in some cases, like Pittsburgh Public Schools, a free college education — mean someone else will provide for you.
What choices will students make as adults if they learn everything is free? None. They won't have to make choices; others, like the government they depend upon, will do it for them.
The writer is a retired Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher.
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