We Can't Do It Alone
The Foundation for Child Development recently released a Policy Brief that insists that it is time that we face facts about Pre-K. Pre-K can't fix the entire educational system. The report asserts that there is only so much one initiative can accomplish. The Case for Investing in PreK-3rd Education: Challenging Myths about School Reform supports the funding of pre-k through third initiatives as opposed to Pre-K as a stand alone school reform. Instead of using this as a reason not to fund pre-k, as many "reformers" like to do, the policy brief gives it as the reason America needs to invest in all of the "early childhood" years. The early childhood years, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), is the time in a child's life from 3 - 8 years old. This crucial time is when childrens' brains form many of their foundational neural pathways that will serve them for the rest of their lives. From the Policy Brief:
Children's success in school and in life must be built on a foundation of seamless learning during their earliest PreK-3rd school years.
This can only happen when there is collaboration between grade levels in schools. Many think that bringing pre-k into the schools will only serve to push down the academic standards and rob children of their childhood. This is not necessarily true. There can be accountability and childhood in the same room. Just listen to how Jennifer descibes the academic learning in her classroom and you can tell there her students are learning at high levels. In fact, pre-k practices should be pushed up into the higher grades as a way to more effectively teach all students instead of those that are "ready" for school at age 5 or 6 years.
image from: NEFEC website