The Washington Post points out that, “In DC, public school for 3-year-olds is already the norm:”
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for a dramatic shift in early childhood education: free public preschool for all low- and moderate-income 4-year-olds. [...] The District is already doing something more ambitious. Nearly 13,000 of the city?s roughly 15,000 3- and 4-year-olds are attending public preschool. [...]
So as national and state leaders consider a major expansion of public education, the city offers an example of how that that can play out on the ground.
Says Jack McCarthy, Managing Director of the AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation (a Catalogue nonprofit), “Here is a place where funding is in place, universal preschool is policy” [...] If the quality could be improved and ensured for all, “we could close the achievement gap here in five years.”
Hiring teachers with college and advanced degrees to create preschool centers of excellence in language and literacy, and guaranteeing the necessary training and professional development, is central to AppleTree’s mission. You can catch a glimpse inside an AppleTree classroom here.
State of the Union 2012 from President Barack Obama:
Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.
We can do this. I know we can, because we’ve done it before. At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known. My grandfather, a veteran of Patton’s Army, got the chance to go to college on the GI Bill. My grandmother, who worked on a bomber assembly line, was part of a workforce that turned out the best products on Earth.
The two of them shared the optimism of a Nation that had triumphed over a depression and fascism. They understood they were part of something larger; that they were contributing to a story of success that every American had a chance to share — the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.