The topic of early-childhood education is picking up steam this week, following The Huffington Post’s report that Congressional leaders are preparing a bill to dramatically expand access to preschool for low-income families. The proposal would follow President Obama’s call for universal pre-K in his State of the Union Address earlier this year.
Meanwhile, newspapers from Idaho to Indiana have published articles and editorials that highlight the importance of early educational experiences in determining children’s future academic performance and, as adults, their economic status. Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times editorial columnist, used his Sunday space to profile Oklahoma’s free pre-K program, calling it “a terrific example of what the United States can achieve in early childhood education.” A new Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation has also drawn attention to the lack of age-appropriate skills among low-income students.
So what do you think? How can America better prepare young children for kindergarten? Is universal preschool the answer? If so, how should the government fund it? If not, what’s the best alternative?
Share your responses in the form above or by leaving a comment on this post. We will highlight a selection of responses on the Education Lab blog next week.