The question of increasing the federal government’s investment in early childhood education and development programs has begun to factor prominently into recent public discussions of educational priorities. Proponents of such plans are quick to point to research findings bolstering their positions, and their support appears to have gained momentum.
This report analyzes several leading federal prekindergarten proposals, discussing plan details and rationales as well as insights by a range of prominent researchers. Among the topics discussed include:
• To what extent would the benefi ts of providing universal pre-K to children from middle- and upper-class families justify the costs?
• What evidence exists of possible negative behavioral effects that may outlast academic gains in pre-K programs?
• Is there a consensus among researchers linking specific teacher credentialing requirements with overall classroom quality?
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