Education Guide / Issues
WHAT THE EVIDENCE SAYS:
Studies show academic and social gains made by children who have enrolled in high-quality preschools. Similarly, data reveal a high return on investment to society for every $1 invested in high-quality-pre-K education. Still, some critics have suggested that certain benefits of early childhood education “fade out” later in a child’s academic career. All of this provides a rich landscape of both national policy issues and local questions for journalists to explore.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Nationally, Democratic leaders led the charge for federal and state funding. At the state level, funding remains a point of tension, along with low standards for pre-K teacher preparation and low pay in the profession. Another big issue is whether to target public programs and resources toward low-income families or offer them universally.
“We write a lot about school organization and management but hardly at all about what actually happens in the classroom. And when we do write about classroom practice or curriculum it is usually some warm and fuzzy program. Emergent readers reading to dogs! Students use rap music to learn Shakespeare! There is a vast body of research on what works in classrooms and I can count on one hand stories that are informed by it.”