Thursday, May 8, 2008

Universal Pre-k

When I was studying in South Africa, and looking at the country's education policy, I noticed a lot of murmuring about creating a pre-k program for the country. All of the writing seemed to indicate that they felt that starting early would close some of the educational gap early and build strong foundations for children. I'm not sure these murmurings in South Africa ever got turned into much of anything, due to money, but I wonder if America will get the hint.

My young and hopeful spirit truly believe in pre-k for all. I'm not sure if it should all be public, because this might hurt the quality of education, but all children should have the opportunity to a pre-k program with high standards. Could the pay be on a sliding scale? I don't know, economics are not my strong point. I do know pre-k education and the benefits I see in the minds of young children who are building pre-literacy skills and sometimes literacy skills at a very young age. It doesn't have to be a little school with little desks. In progressive education the kids play a lot and learn a lot with the careful guiding of professionals who KNOW psychology and education like the back of their hand and understand the individual needs of each child like, well, the needs of their own child.

Ezra Klein lays it out beautifully and simply, universal pre-k works. Most of the people I interact with on a daily basis tend to agree with this view point as well. I'm not arguing that children in private pre-k programs should move to public programs, but shouldn't all children, especially those whose parents can't afford pre-k and probably need to be working that time, get a little help? Not only will the children be at school but they will be setting the foundation for breaking the cycle.

Oh, and didn't

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