The Kirwan Commission on education reform has recommended a re-ordering of our educational priorities. One of the central tenets of the Commission’s approach is to expand early pre-school for three and four year olds.The data on pre-k might surprise you. A Brookings Institution study argues that there is little correlation between pre-k and academic achievement in elementary school. But scholars have determined that kids in pre-school are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. And a report by MD Family Network calculates the loss to businesses at nearly two and half billion dollars for parents with kids under the age of five, for time lost at work due to inadequate child care.Is universal pre-k worth the investment? How much does it really prepare kids for success down the line? And if the state doesn’t make pre-k programs affordable and accessible to parents, does that decision come with an economic cost? Today, a panel of early education experts joins Tom for a closer look at the costs and benefits of pre-k.Rasheed Malik is a senior policy analyst for Early Childhood Policy at the Center for American Progress; Erica Greenberg is a senior research associate in the Center on Education Data and Policy at the Urban Institute; and Suzanne Bouffard, is the author of The Most Important Year: Pre-Kindergarten and the Future of Our Children.
Universal Pre-K: Is It Worth the Investment?
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