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January 28, 2009

Top Ten Obama Pre-K Promises

Top_Ten_100x100  As the students in my classroom watched the inauguration, my assistant cried. (Just a little bit.) It was an amazing thing to see history in the making. It affected everyone in our economically challenged urban elementary school. Yesterday, as I listened to the post-party coverage and people talking on their cell phones in the grocery store, I was struck by how many people are concerned about President Obama moving left or right of where they think he stood on issues. This morning I heard a radio comment that now is the time for everyone to make their opinions known and that they should remind our president of where he has come from. So here is my "don't forget the pre-k" post-it note for President Obama.

We seem to be on the right track. The House economic stimulus package in Congress already has 2.1 billion for Head Start in it as described in this Wall Street Journal article about the loads of promises the president made on the campaign trail.

President Obama has mentioned funding early childhood education many times since 2007. So in the spirit of David Letterman, I give you President Barack Obama's Top 10 quotes on early childhood education as found on the website On the Issues. and Youtube.


10 Obama supports increasing funding for the Head Start program for preschool children. Obama has called on states to replicate the Illinois model of Preschool for All.

Campaign website, BarackObama.com, "Resource Flyers" Aug 26, 2007

9 We can start by investing $10 billion to guarantee access to quality, affordable, early childhood education for every child in America. Every dollar that we spend on these programs puts our children on a path to success, while saving us as much as $10 in reduced health care costs, crime, and welfare later on.

Source: Speech in Flint, MI, in Change We Can Believe In, p.249 Jun 15, 2008

8  Put billions of dollars into early childhood education
Latinos have such a high dropout rate. What you see consistently are children at a very early age are starting school already behind. That’s why I’ve said that I’m going to put billions of dollars into early childhood education that makes sure that our African-American youth, Latino youth, poor youth of every race, are getting the kind of help that they need so that they know their numbers, their colors, their letters. Every dollar that we spend in early childhood education, we get $10 back in reduced dropout rates, improved reading scores. That’s the kind of commitment we have to make early on.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008


7  Teachers don’t go in to education to get rich. They don’t go in to education because they don’t believe in their children. They want their children to succeed, but we’ve got to give them the tools. Invest in early childhood education. Invest in our teachers and our children will succeed.

Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 19, 2007

6 If you’re a progressive, you’ve got to be worried about how the federal government is spending its revenue, because we don’t have enough money to spend on things like early childhood education that are so important.
Source: 2008 Politico pre-Potomac Primary interview Feb 11, 2008

5 Children’s First Agenda: zero to five early education

High-Quality Zero to Five Early Education: Obama will launch a Children’s First Agenda that provides care, learning and support to families with children from birth up to five years old.

Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 20-23 Feb 2, 2008

4 We’ve got to have early childhood education.
Source: 2007 NAACP Presidential Primary Forum Jul 12, 2007


3 We’ll invest in early childhood education programs so that our kids don’t begin the race of life behind the starting line and offer a $4,000 tax credit to make college affordable for anyone who wants to go. Because as the NAACP knows better than anyone, the fight for social justice and economic justice begins in the classroom.

2 Michelle and I are here only because we were given a chance at an education. I will not settle for an America where some kids don’t have that chance. I’ll invest in early childhood education.
Source: Speech at 2008 Democratic National Convention Aug 27, 2008

1 This clip really seems to show where his heart is on the issue of voluntary Pre-K. Hopefully, he won't forget.

Comments

My favorite part of the last quote is, "Children aren't stupid." I couldn't agree more Mr. President.

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