CONVENER(S): Ruth A. Doran
PARTICIPANTS: M. Margaret Ford and others
SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION:
The individuals who attended were interested in what "school readiness" means - a very broad topic. The session was intended to alert educators as to the absence of Montessori representatives in the policy decisions being presently formed for early childhood care and provision in the State of Florida for 2005 - and how narrow accreditation standards and a menu of curricular choices (not Montessori, Reggio, or others) are being included. This is an issue as the reimbursement rate will be tied to the delivery of services chosen.
Montessori educators need to come to the table now to protect not only their own interests, but also to serve as leaders in keeping the door open to discovery in a pluralistic society. We cannot pidgeonhole early childcare provision! Emergent programs must be free to develop in response to the children they serve without negative financial consequences.