Early childhood education is an economic development issue, not just because we’ve been quoting Ed Morrison about it for years, but also because the research is here to support it.
The latest piece is a potential blockbuster. Excellent early childhood education makes a lasting difference through the elementary years, based on standardized testing results. But it fades as students are tested in junior high and high school. However, the positive effects appear to re-emerge later in “real life.” The story is in the New York Times, Study Rethinks Importance of Kindergarten Teachers:
Glenna Mae and the Class of 1963
How much difference did Mrs. Brown make?
A student who went from average to the 60th percentile — a typical jump for a 5-year-old with a good teacher — could expect to make about $1,000 more a year at age 27 than a student who remained at the average. Over time, the effect seems to grow, too.
Just how much does it grow? And what are great kindergarten teachers worth to your community?
[They] estimate that a standout kindergarten teacher is worth about $320,000 a year. That’s the present value of the additional money that a full class of students can expect to earn over their careers. This estimate doesn’t take into account social gains, like better health and less crime.
Go read the entire article: Study Rethinks Importance of Kindergarten Teachers. Then get to work on early childhood education in your community.
Now, a little side note about this pic of the Class of 1963 including my mom. When they started school in the early 1950’s, not everyone attended kindergarten. In fact, there was no public school affiliated kindergarten in Alva. My grandparents paid for Glenna Mae to attend kindergarten with Mrs. Brown.
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James H Shewmaker says
In any service orientated business, the value received by the client determines whether the business continues to exist. If no one in town likes the kind of haircuts that a specific hair stylist gives, that hair stylist ends up looking for a job.
But what if we created a system where Hair Stylists could not be fired and taxpayers had to pay the salary of the Hair Stylist even if the whole community was not getting what it wanted.
That’s the public school system. If tenure is more important than student achievement, money won’t solve the problem.
Becky McCray says
There are public and private early childhood education options. Get involved with the ones in your area that you think work.
Robbie Johnson says
Thank you for this great article on the value of early childhood education. The state of Washington funds only 1/2 time kindergarten for our school. The local school board voted just last night on a budget that once again funds full-time kindergarten. I sent a link to this article to the school superintendent and thanked her for her support of the kindergarten program.
The part about your mother brings back many similar memories. I can still see the mural of Peter and the Wolf painted by the Young Mother Club(my mom and others) on the locker room wall in the basement of Rosburg Elementary. That was my kindergarten room and the Club paid for my teacher, Mrs Wiitala, out of their own pockets. It was a great experience.
Becky McCray says
Robbie, thanks for the reminder of the innovative ways people can support early childhood education.
invoice factoring blog says
We should also remember the effects that parents have on their children. Spending time with them at that age (or any age!) is bound to help them as well.
I speak as a parent who is still wrestling with his daughter’s question: Dad, why is cold water cold? ….
Becky McCray says
Marco, you are exactly right. A huge part of early childhood education is parenting.