"Occupy the Classroom," Nicholas D. Kristof's NYT op-ed, argues that the fight for economic justice needs to include a demand for universal access to high quality early childhood education, as this is the key to social mobility.
“This is where inequality starts,” said Kathleen McCartney, the dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as she showed me a chart demonstrating that even before kindergarten there are significant performance gaps between rich and poor students. Those gaps then widen further in school.
“The reason early education is important is that you build a foundation for school success,” she added. “And success breeds success.”
One common thread, whether I’m reporting on poverty in New York City or in Sierra Leone, is that a good education tends to be the most reliable escalator out of poverty. Another common thread: whether in America or Africa, disadvantaged kids often don’t get a chance to board that escalator.
Maybe it seems absurd to propose expansion of early childhood education at a time when budgets are being slashed. Yet James Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago, has shown that investments in early childhood education pay for themselves. Indeed, he argues that they pay a return of 7 percent or more — better than many investments on Wall Street.
(via Beth Pratt)
(Image: Preschool Songs, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from caseywest's photostream)
“For your mild amusement, I renamed all my Pokemon whatever my 2 year old called them,” says IMGUR user June1920. Sort of jealous they caught a Claws Parrot.
The Evangelical School Berlin Centre is a private “free” school — that is, it costs money to go there, but the tuition is on a means-tested sliding scale, and the students enjoy enormous educational freedom — that has drawn attention thanks to the exceptional performance of its graduating students.
Gina is 16 and gay, something she was sure her folks would be cool with, so she told them in the best way possible: by holding up a sign at a strategic moment on the family’s plunge down Disneyland’s Splash Mountain. She’s hoping others will do the same.
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