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No, WSJ, the President’s Preschool Proposal is not ‘Head Start for All’

March 12, 2013

It was exactly a month ago that President Obama proposed to dramatically expand access to preschool. A few days later, the White House followed up with a three-page plan.

Duncan's Smart Talk on Preschool Plan: 'Partnering with States'

March 5, 2013
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At an elementary school in Maryland last Friday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talked about the President's plan for expanding preschool. Today in a blog post for the Huffington Post, I report on some of the "working with states" language he used to make the case. It's important to make clear that the president is not proposing a new untested, federally provided program, but is instead proposing to assist states, many of which are hungry to improve the quantity and quality of what they already offer.

At National Journal: President's Plan is More than Pre-K

March 1, 2013
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Last week's National Journal Education Experts blog asks whether the president’s plan to expand all 4-year-olds access to high quality pre-K is a step in the right direction.

I say yes. His plan gives weight to the idea that we should no longer think of education as a K-12 system, but instead as a PreK-12 system.

Why Preschool Isn't Enough

  • By
  • Lisa Guernsey,
  • Laura Bornfreund,
  • New America Foundation
February 25, 2013 |

At a Georgia preschool last week, President Obama sat in a tiny wooden chair and played a science game with a group of four-year-olds. He held up a magnifying glass and peered playfully at the little boy next to him. For a second it looked as if he was trying to figure him out. It is an apt metaphor of where our country stands on education these days. Obama's preschool plan builds on a decade's fascination with studies on brain growth.

Facing Up to Fade-Out: About Preschool and the Birth-to-Third-Grade Continuum

February 25, 2013

This morning, The Atlantic published a commentary I wrote with my colleague Laura Bornfreund about facing up to "fade-out." The article describes why, if Obama's preschool plan is to gain momentum, it would be smart to proceed with a two-pronged approach: give children deep learning experiences in their birth-to-five years and make improvements to the K-3 grades of elementary school.

Federal Report Finds Educational Inequities, Pushes for Access to Early Learning

February 20, 2013
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The Equity and Excellence Commission, a board established by Congress in 2010 to study school finance issues, released its final report this week, For Each and Every Child.

New Details: Obama’s Pre-K Proposal Stresses Birth through Five Continuum, Presents Political Challenges

February 14, 2013

In President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, he called on Congress to expand high-quality early learning opportunities to low- and moderate-income children. Today, with the release of a White House document and a speech at a Decatur, Ga. pre-K center, Obama sketched more of the plan’s details.

Georgia and Oklahoma Show What’s Possible in Pre-K – and Where Challenges Lie

February 14, 2013
Early education advocates have been clamoring for details since Tuesday evening, when President Obama used his State of the Union to propose the goal of universal preschool for four-year olds.

Question 2 on Obama’s Pre-K Plan: How Will Quality Be Defined?

February 13, 2013

Every word matters in a State of the Union address, and the words “high-quality” in President Obama’s preschool proposal are no exception. To arrive at the $7 returned on every dollar spent on pre-K – the figure Obama used in his speech last night* -- states and the federal government would need to offer preschool programs that are good enough to make a real, lasting difference for young children. 

Question 1 on Obama’s Pre-K Plan: How Will It Be Financed?

February 13, 2013

President Obama’s State of the Union call to expand access to pre-K for low and middle-income four-year olds leaves the early childhood world excited, but with many questions. The biggest: How does the president plan on funding this ambitious proposal? What might he be able to do using just the executive branch, and what would require cooperation from an often-recalcitrant Congress?

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