A New Convert's Views on Early Childhood Education

Source Organization: Partnership for America's Economic Success

Speaker: Dennis P. Lockhart

President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Venue: Telluride Economic Summit on Early Childhood Investment

09/22/2008 - Earlier this year, I was approached by the Metropolitan Atlanta United Way to lead a new commission on early childhood education. My co-chair is Beverly Tatum, president of Spelman College. Although I have been an educator, I am not an expert on education and certainly not on early education. I have been working my way up the proverbial learning curve and have reached the point this morning of demonstrating the zealotry of a recent convert.

Since accepting our call to lead the Atlanta commission, Beverly and I have been immersed in the literature of the field and have made visits to places we believe are leaders in the field. Speaking for myself only, I have formed some preliminary views on the case for investment in early (pre-kindergarten) education. I believe that case is compelling—a "no-brainer." If there is debate, I believe it appropriately concerns implementation—the practical details.

For the next several minutes, I'd like to walk you through my nonexpert understanding of the early education topic and share with you the preliminary views I will carry into the deliberations of our commission, which kicks off Oct. 1.

View the full speech on the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Web site.

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