Friday, September 17, 2010

The Benefits of Expanding Pre-K Programs

Pre-K attendance increases graduation rates, improves standardized test scores, and reduces the possibility of grade repetition. The Montgomery County Public School System’s (MD.) implementation of a Pre-K program across the entire county has resulted in similar improvements. The report, Lessons in Early Learning: Building an Integrated Pre-K-12 System in Montgomery County Schools, highlights the success that the local and federally funded Pre-K education program has had on closing achievement gaps between racial and ethnic groups.

The study found that 90% of Pre-K students in Montgomery County entered first grade with essential early literacy skills and 77% went on to later attend college. Education experts are now focused on expanding Pre-K programs to school districts throughout the United States. The Pew Center’s report on National Pre-K-12 reform explores the possibility of replicating the program through the reauthorization process of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In order for the strategy to come to fruition, the reauthorization must allocate funding from federal, state, and local resources to early learning programs. Pre-K advocates believe that successes in Montgomery County will play an important role in affecting change among early learning programs across the United States.

For more information on Ensuring Children are Healthy and Prepared to Succeed in School.

For a previous blog on Pre-K programming.

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