Big Kids vs. Little Kids (National News)

I wish someone would explain to me once and for all why high schools, not preschools, are the focus of so much political and philanthropic attention in Washington.

Back in the old days, everyone always wanted to focus on younger kids, because there was supposed to be more bang for the buck there. That's why Title I money used to all go to elementary schools, why elementary schools used to spend their Title I money on the little kids, and why Head Start, Even Start, etc. all got created.

My how times have changed. So far this year the high schools have gotten a national summit, a prominent place in the Bush agenda, and big philanthropic support.

For preschools, not much is going on in Washington -- even though Head Start is up for reauthorization. Even though report after report comes out saying that full-day kindergarten and universal preschool are probably pretty good things, and many states are trying to get there.

Is it that early childhood education is foreign to many educators, and run by HHS not USDE? Is there a stigma attached to early childhood education, which is seen as "softer" than K-12 education? Is the ECE/Head Start lobby still really that strong, and that opposed? Or is this just policy churn -- educators needing to do something "new" for a while?

I have no clue.

Flurry of Activity Taking Place on Prekindergarten Front EdWeek
Ride the preschool wave USA Today
Performance-driven practices in urban schools NewsSchool.org
Not much learning at Learning Centers JoanneJacobs
The Parent Gap PDF PPI


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