06/02/2010 - On the campaign trail in 2007, Barack Obama laid out ambitious goals for American education. The first step in his educational plan, he told an audience in New Hampshire, was to provide "quality, affordable early childhood education to every American child." And while he observed that states had already enrolled nearly one million 4-year-olds in pre-kindergarten programs, he urged Americans to do better.
About 74 percent of American 4-year-olds currently attend some form of preschool. But supporters of universal pre-k are concerned not just with scope, but also quality. "Many kids are in day care now, but there are a large number of children who still don't have access to high-quality pre-k," says Marci Young, project director for Pre-K Now, a campaign that advocates for school-based pre-k.
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