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Dutch and altair, let me chime in on this one. Obviously when I was in el-hi school, there was no such thing as pre-school, at least none that I ever heard about. And up to about 8th or 9th grade, there was no significant problem with unruly behavior, or gangs, or groups of anti-establishment kids. And I went to both public and parochial schools in a city of 90,000. However, once in high school, things did change to some degree, although at the Catholic High School I attended, the nuns and priests kept things in check for the most part. Obviously, class size was much smaller before high school, and my friends in the public high schools let me know some of the chaotic happenings occurring in their schools. So, our schools used to be just fine, with the occasional unruly child or truancy, and this provided a sound and stable background for children, at least up until their teen years. Herein is where I believe the problem today arises. Today's children are not being given that strong family-oriented, stable home environment, along with early-school attention and protection that America's kids used to get (and without any pre-school).
Now that I have defined the problem, and I also believe that is the easy part, I have to admit that I do not have the solution. We may know what once worked, but how could we ever return to that condition in today's world? Any ideas?