Proposals to expand Early Head Start make sense. Will they become a reality? It all comes down to that first lesson: that every baby matters. The next few months will demonstrate how well we adults remember that.
Early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make in America's future. Now is the time to redouble our efforts, not cut back. Doing right by our youngest children is essential to America's middle-class promise. We look forward to working together to make it happen.
Obama may well be hedging his bets. But as a believer in taxpayer-funded preschool for all (I prefer the term "public good," thank you), I like to think that the president's paving the way for the whole nine yards. How about that legacy, on which he seems to be working so diligently?
For someone in my field, merely having my name in the same sentence as Mister Rogers is a heady, humbling experience. I'm too old to have grown up with him as a "television friend," but young enough that his work was seminal to my career choice.
Research consistently shows that high-quality early learning programs benefit children, our society, and our national prosperity. It is simply one of the most cost-effective investments America can make in its future.
There are numerous experts who tell us that standardized tests are indicative of neither intelligence nor potential. But we are a nation that insists upon quantification -- whether we like it or not, whether it's good for us or not.