The 2011-2012 school year is underway across the nation. While effective K-12 learning is a critical, national mandate, many of its strongest roots lie in high quality, Pre-Kindergarten education. With commitment to learning’s early roots, the Pre-K Coalition presses for effective opportunities for the nation’s incoming stream of learners.
Influential Pre-K Coalition
With funding support from the National School Boards Association and the Pew Charitable Trusts, the 2011-formed Pre-K Coalition works to highlight and build common policy principles for Pre-K policies. The Pre-K Coalition is an effort undertaken by the nation’s most influential educational groups including
- American Association of School Administrators
- American Federation of Teachers
- Council of Chief State School Officers
- National Association of Elementary School Principals
- National Association of State Boards of Education
- National Education Association
- National School Boards Association
While each organization has its own priorities, teachers, principals, superintendents, state and local school board members, and chief state school officers, all agree it is time to reframe policies to better support practices that ensure young children are ready and able to succeed in school.
Framing the Future
Cost effective and efficient advantages are critical and recognized. The 2011 report, Framing the Future: Addressing the Pre-K in ESEA, developed by the Pre-K Coalition is available. That timely report highlights new opportunities for the federal government to support and strengthen state and local early education efforts. Additionally, a 2011 policy statement by the Pre-K Coalition calls for coordination and linkages across Pre-K programs. Recent initiatives have focused on building coordination among state agencies to serve as driving forces on Pre-K education issues.
Essential building blocks
Chrisanne Gayl, Director of the Pre-K Coalition, indicates, “Early education is an essential part of our educational system. The evidence is overwhelming. There is no doubt that a high-quality pre-kindergarten education can make a critical difference in a child’s achievement. It will also save public education billions down the road in remedial education, special education, and drop-out prevention.”
Wise commitment, wise investment
Recent fiscal issues threaten Pre-K education. Strong commitments to invest in Pre-K education, an essential building block of successful, later education, are critical. The Pre-K Coalition’s work is designed to support policies and practices to include younger children and early childhood interventions, including investments in access, quality, workforce preparation, and data collection.
Pre-K education looks ahead with glorious, young eyes united with wise, glittering eyes. Those hopes, those eyes on the future, are vital to the entire success of the 21st century’s transformation of education.