Monday, February 08, 2016

EDUCATION - Universal Preschool

"Seeing success, conservative Oklahoma banks on universal preschool" PBS NewsHour 2/2/2016


SUMMARY:  Children in Oklahoma don't wait for kindergarten to begin public education; there's preschool for anyone who wants it.  While costly, the government program has been hailed for the long-term benefits and has become a national model. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports from Tulsa.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  There’s growing interest in a number of cities and states to try funding universal pre-kindergarten programs.

Philadelphia is the latest city that wants to create one.  Oklahoma has long been home to early childhood education that’s widely cited as a model.

Special correspondent Cat Wise reports on how a liberal political priority became popular in a conservative state.

It’s part of our education series on Tuesdays, 'Making the Grade.'

STUDENTS:  A is for apple, apple.

CAT WISE (NewsHour):  In Oklahoma, the ABCs start before kindergarten.

STUDENTS:  D is for dog.

CAT WISE:  Children here begin public education at just 4 years of age, some as young as 3.   It’s preschool for anyone who wants it, and it costs the state about $7,500 per child per year.

WOMAN:   I like all those colors you’re using.

CAT WISE:  The program is hailed as a national model by the Obama administration and advocates who believe early education creates long-term benefits.

WOMAN:  What color is that one?  Very good.

CAT WISE:  It’s a costly government program in one of the reddest of red states, but it appears both Democrats and Republicans believe it’s working.

WILLIAM GORMLEY, Georgetown University:  It’s not every day that a very conservative state, like Oklahoma, establishes a new social program.   It’s not every day that a very poor state like Oklahoma establishes a new social program.

CAT WISE:  William Gormley is a professor of public policy at Georgetown University.  He has studied Oklahoma’s pre-kindergarten program in Tulsa for 15 years.

No comments: