White House Wants Sweeping Preschool Overhaul
Critics cite costs, logistics, but educators say better pre-K needed
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2013 11:57 AM CST
An image from Primrose Schools, a national educational child care franchise with more 250 schools across the country. President Obama has proposed expanding pre-kindergarten programs nationwide.   (PRNewsFoto/Primrose Schools)

(Newser) – The Obama administration is outlining the "federal-state partnership" it wants to use to widen preschool programs, emphasizing small class sizes and rigorous curricula in its outreach to 4-year-olds in low- and moderate income households, reports the Wall Street Journal. The outline expands on President Obama's State of the Union address, and would require states to put in some matching funds. What's not clear? How much the initiative would cost, where that money is coming from, and whether Obama can convince Congress. "He presented a vision for an ideal federal policy," says a Democrat and proponent of education reform. "But it's hard to see it happening."

The United States ranks 28th out of 38 developed countries for 4-year-olds enrolled in early education, and some economists argue that quality preschool education can reduce long-term crime rates, boost academic achievements, and improve incomes. The president's plan also calls for expanding Early Head Start to broaden childcare for infants and toddlers. “The evidence is, if we don’t make this investment and we don’t make it wisely, we’re going to pay for it later," one Alabama businessman tells the New York Times.

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Feb 15, 2013 4:30 AM CST
The school system is just a day care with emphasis on churning out easily manipulated consumers. It was never meant to be more than that. All hail capitalism.
Feb 15, 2013 3:35 AM CST
I was lucky enough to have a state of the art preschool open at a local college. Very newest approaches, great faculty and reasonable price. My daughter LOVED going there, and got lots of experience socializing---not just with other kids her age, but with other adults. It really gave her a more rounded and stimulating view of the world then I was capable of doing---children ARE their specialty. Child educators and psychologists are really devoted to helping children blossom when their minds are still so flexible. A great preschool is not the problem. Our middle schools and high schools is where we should be ashamed of our educational system. We are obviously failing the youth by not developing programs that motivate and enrich them.
Feb 15, 2013 12:32 AM CST
"preschool programs". Are there still any kindergartens around anywhere ?