This book draws on a half century of efforts (1960s to the present) to forge a consensus that early education is a public responsibility in the United States. While that consensus has not yet been achieved, recent progress provides a platform for identifying new strategies, based on lessons learned. Transforming the American primary school, starting with threes and fours and ending at age ten (PreK-5) is the focusof First Things First. This book calls attention to the relative neglect of primary or elementary education in the recurring waves of education reform that have targeted middle and high schools. First Things First also points to the chaos generated when PreK is added onto the K-12 grades without attention to its ramifications for the later grades, especially Kindergarten. The book will also briefly address what should happen before PreK (Birth to Three) and after Grade 5, including middle and high school reform, to position the new primary school in an educational enterprise that is committed to life-long learning.
Ruby Takanishi is senior research fellow in the Early & Elementary Education Policy Division at New America in Washington, D.C. She has been honored by the American Education Research Association with the 2014 Distinguished Public Service Award.
Takanishi demands that we not only learn from these initiatives, but that we push to reframe access to pre-K as a fundamental civil and human right. There are fewer more worthy targets of a social justice movement.
-- TC Record
Dewey Decimal Classfication (DDC)