Education Week - February 24, 2016 - (Page 32)

Leslie Cober-Gentry for Education Week COMMENTARY Why Preschool Matters for Student Success W By Eric Gordon & Marcia Egbert hen the Cleveland public schools developed a comprehensive plan to transform the way the district delivers education to 40,000 students, the focus was on ensuring that all students would have the knowledge and skills they need for a lifetime of success, starting in preschool. Cleveland, like many other urban school districts, must work hard to find ways to improve attendance, graduation rates, and academic performance. But the earliest learners often get neglected in such plans. Just two years ago, more than half the children who entered kindergarten in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, or CMSD, were unprepared because they had little exposure to highquality preschool programs. PRE4CLE, a plan that began in 2014 to provide high-quality preschool to all children in Cleveland, was developed through a public-private partnership created to address major preschool challenges and complement the district's education goals. The decision to focus on preschoolers was a strategic one. An overwhelming body of evidence shows that high- | INSIDE | 25 PRESCHOOL SUSPENSIONS DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD 32 | EDUCATION WEEK | February 24, 2016 | quality early-learning opportunities from birth to age 5 give children a foundation for greater achievement in school and life. The U.S. Department of Education reports that 90 percent of a child's brain connections are developed by the time the child turns 5. With greater access to high-quality preschool, students are more likely to score better on achievement tests and earn higher salaries in adulthood, according to a 2014 study released by the White House. And the Carolina Abecedarian Project, which offered early-childhood education for poor children and measured the outcomes over decades, reported in a 2012 follow-up study that its students were four times more likely than those who did not receive early-childhood education opportunities to graduate from college by age 30. A 2014 report found that those students were also at a lower risk for cardiovascular and other diseases. In other words, starting a child's education in kindergarten isn't early enough. School districts cannot remediate PAGE 26 > ERIC GORDON is the chief executive officer of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. He is a co-chair of the Cleveland Early Childhood Compact, which oversees PRE4CLE. MARCIA EGBERT is senior program officer for human services at the George Gund Foundation and a co-chair of the Cleveland Early Childhood Compact. 25 PERSONALIZATION ISN'T ABOUT ISOLATION 26 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR " With greater access to high-quality preschool, students are more likely to score better on achievement tests and earn higher salaries in adulthood."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - February 24, 2016

Education Week - February 24, 2016
ESSA Spotlights Strategy to Reach Diverse Learners
Will the Common Core Step Up Schools’ Focus on Grammar?
Disparities in Test Accommodations Eyed
News in Brief
Report Roundup
S.D. May Restrict Restroom Use For Transgender Students
Conn. Seminars Tackle ‘Religious Illiteracy’ In Classrooms
Seven Studies Comparing Paper and Computer Test Scores
To Offset Poverty, Ed. Groups Urge ‘Whole-Child’ Approach
Research on Deafness Yields Broader Insights
Analysis: Ill. Pension Woes Destabilizing Teaching
Blogs of the Week
Military Eyes Wider Access for Career-Aptitude Test Under ESSA
Scalia’s Death Muddies Fate of Key Cases
Courts Push Lawmakers to the Wall Over K-12 Funding
Blogs of the Week
5 Key Takeaways on Education From White House Candidates
State of the States
Preschool Suspensions Do More Harm Than Good
Personalization Isn’t About Isolation
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Why Preschool Matters for Student Success

Education Week - February 24, 2016