The ongoing debate over the need for pre-k tends to take a “baby and the bathwater” tone which has proponents on one side saying it should be universal and even mandated with opponents on the other side saying it is basically glorified babysitting and tax dollars could be better spent elsewhere. As is the case in most of these situations, the truth lies in the middle and not the fringes of the argument. Can Pre-K benefit kids? Absolutely, the data is very clear. Should every kid be mandated into a Pre-K program? No. Many families are doing a great job preparing their kids for school and have access to resources where socialization and learning are taking place.
One of the real issues facing schools today is the readiness of kids to begin. Are little ones ready for Kindergarten? If not, is Pre-K the answer? What should the focus of Pre-K be? Is it academic readiness or is it social preparation?
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