Daily VideoApril 6, 2011
Chicago Early Education Program Aims to Close Achievement Gap
Studies have shown that children from low-income families are at risk of beginning school without a strong vocabulary that could lead to a school achievement gap. Educare, an early education program in Chicago aims to give children from high-risk, low-income families the opportunity to succeed. In Illinois it cost about $30,000 a year to keep someone in prison but Diana Rauner from the Ounce of Prevention Fund comments, “We spend about $18,000 to $20,000 per child per year. That seems like a lot of money, but when you do the return on investment, we believe it actually pays off.”
Special education correspondent Jeff Marrow reports, with a per-pupil price tag that is two-thirds of what it costs to house a prisoner, Diana Rauner’s program Educare provides high-quality child care in preschool for at-risk children up to age 5. Infants are accepted as young as six weeks.
Rauner believes the most important time to intervene is really in the first 1,000 days of life, a time when the brain is developing so quickly and when interactions with adults matter so much to children’s developing sense of who they are and their language development. Educare is open 11 hours a day, five days a week, all year round. Children get good food, regular exercise and those with special needs receive additional supports in small groups.
Despite the research and need for programs such as Educare the vast majority of high-risk, low-income children in Chicago do not have access to these types of programs. One program called Preschool for All, reaches only 24,000 kids, and at some schools, there’s a waiting list. Even when you add in the children attending Head Start and other pre-K programs, that’s only 37,000 out of the city’s 90,000 neediest children who benefit. As state budgets are being trimmed, early education programs are at risk of being cut.
“The cost of school failure is enormous. It’s prisons. Its unemployment. It’s dissatisfaction in neighborhoods and communities. All of that is going to cost you and your kids money.” Barbara Bowman, Chicago Public Schools
“Almost two-thirds of the 3- and 4-year-olds in these very, very poor communities have no access to classroom-based preschool Head Start or child-care programs.” Maria Whelan, Illinois Action for Children
“It embarrasses me in the sense that we are unable, not just in Illinois, but throughout the United States, to mobilize sufficient public opinion to support something that everybody, every piece of research shows would help us just immeasurably improve child outcomes in terms of education.” Barbara Bowman
Warm Up Questions
1.How old where you when you started school?
2.Did you attend pre-school or an early education program?
3.What state is Chicago in?
1.Do you think early education programs are beneficial for children to succeed? Why or why not?
2.If you were the Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools how would you ensure that all of the children in the city had access to early childhood education?
3.Do early childhood education programs such as Head Smart exist in your community? If so did you or anyone you know attend these types of programs? If not, do you think these types of programs are needed in your community?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
There is a growing movement among young conservatives, including evangelical Christians, who support environmental regulations. They say it’s important to act as faithful stewards of the earth. One group, the Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, has grown to 10,000 members in the past five years. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
School districts around the country are debating whether or not to require seat belts on school buses. Requiring seat belts comes at a high cost for school districts already struggling with tight budgets. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Since the firing of FBI Director James Comey earlier this week, the White House has contradicted itself several times as to the reasoning behind President Donald Trump’s decision. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In a surprising move, President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday after receiving recommendations from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper addressed a Senate hearing on Monday over the investigation into the Trump administration’s relationship with Russia and the warnings the White House received about Gen. Michael Flynn. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld