State of the Pre-Kindergartner: The President Addresses New Initiative
President Obama spent a larger-than-usual portion of his January 12, 2013 State of the Union address on several proposed education initiatives, including one that focuses on preschoolers. According to the President, education is a national priority because “….to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, our commitment to skills and education has to start earlier.”
Quality Pre-K for every child
Currently, only 27% of four-year-olds are in publically funded pre-school. The President stated that his administration will be “working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.”
Lack of pre-school support casts a lifelong shadow
Mr. Obama observed that “Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives.” While the details of how this initiative will be enacted or funded weren’t specific, he noted that the cost of inaction is too high for our youngest citizens.
The low-cost and high benefits of investing in early childhood education
In support of the initiative, the President noted: “Every dollar we invest in high-quality early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on, by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children — like Georgia or Oklahoma — studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own.”
The study that supports the positive effects of pre-kindergarten education that was cited in the speech came from an International Association for the Evaluation of Education Achievement (IEA) study, the largest of its type to date. It followed 5,000 preschoolers in 1,800 schools worldwide and found that 4-year-olds who had access to high-quality education had better cognitive outcomes and language development by age 7.
Dr. Tim Hudson, the Director of Curriculum Design at DreamBox Learning, has young children of his own. “It’s critical to ensure all children are put on the path of a positive life trajectory. That’s what I wanted for my high school students and what I want for my own kids. I’m proud to partner with schools, teachers and parents by building learning software that supports even the youngest learners in mathematics.”
The President concluded the education portion of the State of the Union address by saying, “We know this works. So let’s do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.”
DreamBox Learning is proven to help children understand math concepts from an early age. View some sample lessons http://www.dreambox.com/kindergarten-math-lessons to see how easy and effective early math learning can be.
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