Monday, March 26, 2007

If The Effect Is "Slight," Then Why Even Mention It?

The NYT jump-starts Round WhateverWe'reUpTo in the Mommy Wars with today's article on a "long anticipated" (by whom?) report that reveals that even a year in day care increases the likelihood that your little darling will drive his grammar school teacher bats.
The effect was slight, and well within the normal range for healthy children, the researchers found. And as expected, parents’ guidance and their genes had by far the strongest influence on how children behaved.

But the finding held up regardless of the child’s sex or family income, and regardless of the quality of the day care center. With more than two million American preschoolers attending day care, the increased disruptiveness very likely contributes to the load on teachers who must manage large classrooms, the authors argue.
You know, I'd take a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development a lot more seriously if it wasn't funded by, well, the "National" anything. We know that virtually every federal government function is politicized thanks to BushCo, from the hiring (and firing) of U.S. Attorneys to the creation of a Baghdad stock exchange. Why should this be any different?

Read the piece. Then, take a look at this Common Dreams post from way back in 2001. See any familiar names? How about this Salon post? At least one of the researchers appears to have an agenda that is not incompatible with that of the "family values" crowd. To be sure, this is circumstantial evidence that the study's conclusuions are questionable, but given what we know about BushCo, why should anyone take seriously a thing that comes out of the government's mouth (or courtesy of its pocketbook) until sometime on the afternoon of January 20, 2009?

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