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Charters and Choice

How can we give students options when their public schools are failing them?

Overview

Candidate Perspectives

College Access

College: Can't afford not to go, can't afford to go...

Overview

Candidate Perspectives

 

The Dropout Dilemma

What are the real costs of dropping out?

Overview

Candidate Perspectives

No Child Left Behind

What exactly is NCLB and how is it effecting our education system?

Overview

Pros and Cons

What's Next?

Candidate Perspectives

Early Childhood Education

How do we ensure that all children are prepared to enter kindergarten?

Overview

In Focus: Head Start

Candidate Perspectives

Teachers

Why are we struggling to recruit and retain teachers? What reforms do the candidates propose to solve the teacher shortage and improve their working conditions?

Overview

Candidate Perspectives

School-to-Work

With a struggling economy, should lawmakers place further emphasis on federally-funded school-to-work programs? Moreover, do they work?

Overview

Candidate Perspectives

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Early Childhood Education

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  Why Should We Care?  
Whoever is elected as president in the upcoming election has the possibility of being in office for the next eight years. Think about where you might be in eight years! Early education will be a very pertinent issue in our lives as we educate the next generation, including potentially our own children.

 

What is the problem?

 
 
  • Many children enter kindergarten without the necessary skills to succeed.
  • Without a strong foundation at an early age, all children, especially those who are otherwise disadvantaged, will fall behind their peers even before reaching kindergarten.
  • This lack of pre-kindergarten education creates a gap which remains prevalent throughout all levels of schooling.
  • According to Nobel prize winning economist, James Heckman, investing in early childhood education gives more effective results than investing in education for adolescents or young adults. In other words, earlier is better.

The Heckman Curve, explained in this powerpoint:

heckman curve

 
 

What is early childhood education?

 
  Early childhood education can often be confusing because there are many different forms that this education could take. For example, there are differences between early childhood education and childcare. Both are very important, but have different goals.

  • Preschool: This includes any program intended to prepare children for schooling. Preschool often addresses social and academic preparedness, typically geared towards three and four year olds.
  • Childcare: These programs aim to provide a safe place for children whose parents are unable to take care of them during the day. This could include a relative, small home daycare, or a large licensed daycare center.
  • Head Start and Early Head Start: These are specific government funded programs that often combine aspects of preschool and childcare for low-income families.
 
 

Focus on Head Start

See Candidate Perspectives on this issue