Pre-K Writing Assignment

There are several really good pre-K blogs out there and my colleague Sara Mead frequently writes about pre-K issues over at The Deuce. But, what I’d really like to see is a big picture and long article about where the nation is and where it is going on pre-kindergarten education. It seems to me that through various venues, for instance state initiatives, the Tough Choices report, advocacy groups, and the attention of presidential candidates we’re having a national conversation about what amounts to adding a grade to school. To be sure, it won’t work like that because the pre-K system is more choice driven and pluralistic than elementary school and different in other ways, too. Yet that would be the effect, a big shift toward another year of school.

Personally, I’m for this. I think getting kids off to school prepared is one of the best social policy investments we can make and the data are very clear that there are big disparities in participation in early childhood education based on family income. But it’s complicated policy-wise and financially, and the research-base about how to do it and effectiveness is thinner than the advocates let on. And, it raises tough parent – state questions and broader questions of equity with regard to public policies impacting families with young children.

So, seems like a great project for a magazine…tell us what it all means and how to think about it. Or, maybe it’s all pretty simple and Sara can knock it down in a blog post…

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