Pre-K Now today released "Pre-K and Politics 2005," an analysis of the highlights of the pre-kindergarten movement in 2005. Across the nation, states continue to make substantial new commitments to pre-k programs and to increase access to all three and four year olds. The report also points out states that have fallen behind the pack on pre-k to the detriment of their children. Success in 2006 will require bold, creative strategies and an unwavering focus on young children and our national future. "Pre-k is gradually being integrated into the K-12 education system because state legislatures and governors are increasingly aware of the overwhelming research that supports the benefits of early learning," said Libby Doggett, Ph.D., executive director of Pre-K Now.
The report recognizes the strong leadership and wide array of approaches that advocates and policymakers have used to build, support, and improve pre-k in their states. Pre-K Now has identified ten essential conditions that comprise a political barometer and are associated with states that are serious about expanding pre-k to all children. The Pre-K Now Political Barometer serves as the framework for this report and examines topics including:
The barometer will give advocates, policymakers and the media a new tool for measuring the daily progress of pre-k expansion in their states. Pre-K Now uses the barometer to rate the strengths and weaknesses of efforts to promote and achieve high-quality pre-k.
"The best pre-k programs in the country continue to have the highest quality standards and a commitment to serve more children," Doggett said. "Political will is critical to moving pre-k forward in this country, and we're proud to feature successful individuals and strategies from 2005."
Pre-K Now collaborates with state advocates and policymakers to lead a movement for high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all three and four year olds. The following funders have contributed to making this important work possible: The Pew Charitable Trusts, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Schumann Fund for New Jersey, the Foundation for Child Development, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Joyce Foundation and the McCormick Tribune Foundation.