Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama's "Zero to Five" plan

I am re-posting this post about Obama's education plan because I believe it is so important. The original post was from 9/12.

The media has not focused too much on education, but Obama does have a pretty comprehensive plan.You can read about his education plan here: Barack Obama and Joe Biden: The Change We Need Education If you scroll down you can click on plans for specific grades. There is a lot to read. While in the state senate Obama helped to create the "Illinois Early Learning Council." Illinois has universal voluntary pre-school for all 4 yr. olds, and for 3 yr. olds who are at risk. Obama will encourage all states to adopt universal voluntary pre-school. He calls this the "Zero to Five Plan."

Obama's plan describes a study that proves that early childhood educational programs "reduced problems such as probation and criminal offenses by as much as 70% over 20 yrs." (when provided to disadvantaged children and families.)
This shows that an investment in early childhood education will help promote a more productive society. Expanding programs like "Head Start" is mentioned in Obama's plan. Under the Bush Admin., Head Start funding was cut.
Obama believes that NCLB is a failure and needs to be reformed, but he agrees with the goal of the plan.

I think those years that Obama spent as a "community organizer" in Chicago helped him to see up close the problems that poor families face, and how important early childhood education is, especially for kids living in poverty.

Research has shown that high quality pre-school programs that teach "school readiness" help to break the cycle of at-risk behaviors, decrease the need for special education, improve language ability, lower the drop out rate, raise test scores. I think pre-school teachers should be paid a whole lot more money for doing such an important job!
NOTE: first 5 comments are from September. Sorry for any confusion.