“Yet as is so often the case, the reality is much different from what the political rhetoric says. The United States has the weakest safety net among the Western industrialized nations, devoting far fewer resources as a percentage of gross domestic product to welfare programs than do other wealthy countries.
Partly as a result, a majority of Americans will experience poverty during their lives, and America’s rate of poverty consistently ranks at or near the top in international comparisons. Rather than slashing anti-poverty programs, the fiscally prudent question to ask is: How much does this high rate of poverty cost our nation in dollars and cents?”
Marc Tucker on David Driscoll’s new book about the Massachusetts experience and on 9 Building Blocks of World Class Education Systems. Fully agree that David Driscoll “is such a decent, caring human being, overflowing with that most uncommon quality: common sense as well as a vast horde of carefully considered experience.”
See the 9 Building Blocks, including numbers 1 and 2.
“Preschool may be be good at offering short-term academic gains for kids, but a program that provided services starting at preschool through 3rd grade showed benefits for children that boosted their college attendance rates years later, according to a new study.
Researchers examined the life outcomes of nearly 1,000 children who attended the Chicago Child-Parent Centers as preschoolers in the early 1980s. On average, children who attended the program completed more years of education than a control group of children. And those effects were amplified the longer that they remained in the program.”
Just out in Kappan magazine:
“In many cities and towns across the United States, elementary schools are forging deeper partnerships with families and community organizations well before children arrive at kindergarten. The aim of this work is to improve children’s experiences and family engagement and support along the entire continuum from prenatal care through grade 3 and beyond.
This potent combination of educational supports and family services is the single best strategy we have to address pernicious opportunity gaps and raise achievement for low-income children. Communities such as Cincinnati, Ohio; Omaha, Neb., and Multnomah County, Ore., are embracing this approach to tackle persistent poverty, family instability, the hollowing out of the middle class, and the demand for a more highly skilled workforce.”
You can find the full article here.
Created as part of the book by Greg Duncan and Richard Murnane, Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education.
Another example of the potential for bi-partisan support of early childhood programs (in line with A Purple Agenda for (Early) Education).
From Education Week’s Early Years blog:
“Proving that leaving Congress sometimes makes it easier to find bipartisan accord, former Democratic Rep. George Miller, of California, and former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, of Pennsylvania, have come together to back a dozen child-related policies they say can be supported on both sides of the aisle.
Among the policy recommendations:
- Increase the value of, and access to, the federal Child Care Tax Credit.
- Reauthorize the federally-funded home-visiting program. (Funding for that program expired at the end of September.)
- Create a competitive-grant program to encourage states to design state-level tax programs that increase access to high-quality early-childhood programs.
- Encourage states to establish minimum levels of training and competencies for their child-care workforce and to improve professional development systems for the child-care workforce in ways that have been shown to impact child outcomes.
The full report offers more recommendations and rationales on why these particular recommendations should be adopted quickly.”