10/13/2011 - Why wait until after the disparities between school systems surface to try to close the achievement gap?
Why, indeed? A new report from the Pew Center on the States, "Transforming Public Education: Pathway to a Pre-K-12 Future," argues that states need to start two years earlier than kindergarten, when children are 3, to start closing that gap.
For those who question the value of investing in prekindergarten programs, the report from Pew, a division of the Pew Charitable Trusts that works to improve public policy, is worth quoting at length: "For more than 50 years, researchers have been studying the ways that high-quality early education for three- and four-year-olds affects children both during their school years and throughout their lives. The benefits have been proven repeatedly to be wide-ranging, dramatic and lasting," the report says. "According to one 2010 analysis of 123 pre-K program evaluations, these programs 'provide a real and enduring benefit to children.'"
Read the editorial Quality Prekindergarten Programs Are a Big Part of Narrowing the Achievement Gap in Schools in its entirety on the AL.com Web site.