Tag Archives: early childhood education

Guest Post: Let’s Talk Technology & Young Children

As part of the weeklong celebration of educational transformation that occurred throughout the Pittsburgh region called Remake Learning Days, the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent’s College and ISA Learning, Inc. facilitated a conversation about the role of technology in early education.

Let’s Talk: Technology and Young Children was held at the Well facility at Kids + Pediatrics on the evening of Thursday, May 12th and was attended by invited stakeholders with different backgrounds including experts on the NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center position statement, pediatricians, EdTech companies, advocates and early educators. The goals of event organizers, Dr. Jordan Lippman, Executive Director of ISA Learning and Ms. Tanya Baronti, Program Manager at the Fred Rogers Center included clarifying terminology and understanding the opportunities and perceived threats of using educational technology with young children.

“For many practitioners who work with young children, there are so many terms, technologies and tools that appear to emerge daily (even hourly!), that it’s hard for anyone to have a principled perspective,” said Dr. Lippman. Creating a common language or vocabulary is critical for establishing an understanding of the issues and best practices.  According to Ms. Baronti it is critical that “the voices and experiences of people who work with children and teachers are included so we can bring some clarity and context to our conversation.”  To build a foundation for the conversation that is continued here, the Let’s Talk event elicited the preconceptions of participants who then worked in small groups to define terms and clarify understandings; as the event came to a close some participants created messages about Technology and Young Children that we recorded.

Attendees began the session by individually responding visually, emotionally, and bodily to the terms they intended on exploring, which included: Educational Technology, Digital Media, Early Education (Early Childhood Development), Interactive Technology, Active Learning, and Deeper Learning. As a group, they discussed and reflected on why these terms evoke these types of responses and reactions. These responses and reactions were recorded on sticky notes and displayed throughout the session.

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Participants worked in small groups to define their understanding of the terms and created simple definitions on chart paper, using these questions as a guide.

  • Do responses have to do with definitions of terms?
  • Are there definitions that are ambiguous?
  • Is it harder to understand these terms as new technology is developed?

Then, using a Round Robin process, groups travelled to the posters created by other groups, and they edited each of the terms and discussed them further. Then, the larger group was asked: Did we come to a consensus on terminology? Why or why not?

Lastly, each small group designated a representative to create a response that would communicate their ‘biggest’ tip about using digital media and technology for caregivers, teachers, parents, and other professionals who work with young children.

What terms to do you struggle to define across education and technology? What other challenges do you face when discussing new technology with other educators? Let us know on Twitter with the hashtag #TechTalkPGH  and by connecting with @TeamISAPgh, @FredRogersCtr, and @RemakeLearning.

In this exciting multi-part blog series, we will continue to explore and unpack each of these  terms for deeper understanding, as well as post VLOG reactions and responses from attendees. Check back soon for part two!

About ISA Learning:  ISA Learning™ is a Benefit Corporation that promotes the success of all early learners by teaching them collaborative problem solving skills. We use the power of stories and engineering design challenges to create compelling S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) educational experiences.

About the Fred Rogers Center: Staying true to the vision of Fred Rogers, we help children grow as confident, competent, and caring human beings. An advocate for the positive potential of technology to support children, families, educators, and caregivers, the Rogers Center enjoys many collaborative relationships with educational institutions, research centers, and community organizations.

From Pittsburgh On Up: Catching Up With Michelle Figlar

Welcome back to our new Q&A series, where we are checking in with Pittsburgh’s movers, shakers, thinkers, and remakers of learning throughout the city and region.

We caught early education expert Michelle Figlar in a moment of major transition. The executive director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children is headed to Harrisburg this month, as she has been named deputy secretary for the Office of Child Development and Early Learning at the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

What are you most proud of about your work at PAEYC?

After nine years at PAEYC, one of the two things that I am most proud of is that we have built an incredible team and incredible partnerships in the region. When I think about PAEYC, the first words that come to my mind are team and collaboration. We stayed true to that mission, from the minute I walked in the door, that we would be a good partner. And I am really proud of that.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/newamerica/13449378694/Is there a specific educator or organization from the region whose work or approach is emblematic of
what PAEYC does well?

I think that for us it’s all about the work of Fred Rogers—the Fred Rogers Company, and now the Fred Rogers Center, two of our very good partners. I think about how Fred Rogers always listened to the children and he listened to the parents and he listened to the providers. At the core, that’s what PAEYC wants to stay true to.

How did you experience being part of the Remake Learning Network influence your work at PAEYC?

Gregg Behr and the Grable Foundation bring people from very different sectors to the table. Early on I got to meet Illah Nourbakhsh from Carnegie Mellon University—a robotics genius. Being able to sit in a space with him and think about innovative ideas that could really impact kids, families, and their teachers—that’s the space that allows PAEYC to be innovative, to meet people we never would have met. What are the chances of an early childhood organization meeting a robotics lab and really making something wonderful happen?

What will your priorities be in your new role at the Pennsylvania Department of Education?

For me it’s going to be about the governor’s vision and making sure all kids have access to high-quality early learning. My priority right away is: How do I help my team put that at the front of their work and really think differently?

What are you most excited about?

What I’m excited about is bringing some of the great innovation that we have been able to pilot and really get to work here in western Pennsylvania to the state level. How do we bring these partnerships to scale? When you have an unlikely partnership with a place like Carnegie Mellon University, you think differently about what is possible. How do we make sure we are listening to those voices?

What are the chances of an early childhood organization meeting a robotics lab and really making something wonderful happen?

As the issue gains traction nationally, many advocates feel we may be at a turning point around early childhood policy. Do you agree? And, if so, what signs or markers would you point to?

It’s an exciting time to be stepping into this position because I think policymakers get it. It’s not about convincing them anymore. Now it’s about designing things and finding the resources to make it happen. Federally, you have the Obama administration placing a huge priority on universal pre-K. You also have the Child Care and Development Block Grant being reauthorized, which gives states the opportunity to think differently about how they serve families and children who receive subsidized child care. That says to me that young children have become a priority. You also have a lot of national research, even newer brain research. And then across the country you see more and more states investing more and more dollars in the earliest time of life. And we see policy that is rethinking K-3, that is actually embracing early childhood.

What is the toughest part of the work you do?

At least for the state of Pennsylvania, it is finding the resources to be able to invest in these programs. Pennsylvania has a budget deficit, so how do we convince folks to make sure that this is a priority?

We also have to invest in our [early education] workforce so we can make sure we have the best and the brightest and make sure they are compensated so they will stay in the field. I think as a country we really need to think about how we recruit and retain a workforce that can really ensure that children are getting the highest quality of care.

What will you most miss about Pittsburgh?

I think what I’m going to miss on a day-to-day basis is just the natural way that people collaborate. It’s just so easy here.

I’ll also miss walking to school with my kids. And I’m going to miss just being in my neighborhood. I love Hazelwood—that’s where I grew up. I’m going to miss not seeing the redevelopment of Hazelwood in real time.

Photo of Michelle Figlar/New America Foundation

Fred Rogers’ Legacy in the Digital Age

Remake Learning: Let’s start with your background. For most of your career you’ve been a TV executive. How does something like that prepare you for what you’ll be doing at the Fred Rogers Center?

Rick Fernandes: I get asked that a lot, because I don’t have experience in academia or a degree in early childhood education. Recently, I was a TV network executive, but it’s my experiences as a television director and producer that is really applicable to running an organization. There’s budgeting, messaging, and research—but more importantly, it’s bringing together brilliant and creative people from different fields and having them work on a common goal.

What’s your first step at the Center?

Rick Fernandes / Photo: Ben Filio

Rick Fernandes / Photo: Ben Filio

Planning a road map for the next 10 years. One of the items on the road map is getting information out to the public. There is great research coming out from many organizations including the Roger’s Center, and it’s known in the academic community and certain circles but not by the general public. We need to think about how to reach people whether as professional development, or for college students studying early childhood education, or for parents.

How are you going to get the message out? And whom are you trying to reach first?

I think parents are the toughest group of people to reach. They’re busy. They’re working long hours. Some people are working two jobs just to stay afloat. When do they have time to find information they can trust? It’s easy to say, ‘Go to the internet,’ but that doesn’t solve the problem of who’s a credible source.

Do you have some idea of how to cut through that noise and actually reach parents?

Early childhood educators. You’ve left your child with these people; you must trust them to a certain extent. So the question for us is, how do we work with organizations to help early childhood educators learn what they need to learn so they can pass the message on to parents? Then, down the road, the second group of people we should work with is pediatricians. Again, there’s a certain level of trust between parents and pediatricians. If we can figure out how to collaborate with pediatricians, then they can carry on Fred’s message to parents.

It sounds like your mission is two-fold. One, reach out to people who can help parents get the information they need to make good media decisions for their children. But then, also, you’re talking about reaching the next generation of media-makers.

Fred was about helping children grow up to be confident, caring, and competent. Many of us who are in the TV business learned from Fred. But who’s next? Who’s going to keep his mission going forward?

What’s at stake in terms of keeping that legacy alive?

Fred was a master of the “deep and simple”—“deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex,” he’d say. It’s critical that future generations can learn that art from Fred. We live in a world that is becoming more and more complex and connected. It is important that we don’t lose that “deep and simple” connection with children.

You’ve talked about Fred’s legacy. Say more about that. What did he do so well?

He knew how to connect with people. He was very focused on social and emotional learning and making sure children were respected. Very few people deal with that in a direct and authentic manner. Fred knew how to take complex and emotionally difficult topics and make them “deep and simple.” It is important as a society that people connect with other people with respect and empathy—specifically with children.

What exactly does “social and emotional learning” mean?

Fred was about learning and managing your emotions. How do you handle yourself socially? How do you deal with feelings? How do you communicate with other people?

Do you feel that in the current ecosystem of children’s media there’s too much focus on cognitive intelligence at the expense of emotional and social intelligence?

It’s swinging back. Recently, people have been talking about how these two have to go hand in hand. It’s not just cognitive that’s important—or just emotional. You need them both together.

What I want to do is daunting, but that’s why it’s thrilling. I want the Center to help the next generation of “Freds.” 
How do you choose digital media for your kids?

Carefully. I ask people. I play or look at it first. I look for good reviews—the Children’s Technology Review or Common Sense Media. But mostly, it’s about not just leaving them with the device and walking away. It’s about carrying on a dialog. Asking questions. When our daughter is watching TV, my wife and I will ask her, “What happened in the story?” or “Wow, that happened?”. So she’s not just passive for half an hour. We’re constantly trying to figure out how to engage her mind. That’s how we connect with technology.

Why do you think there’s such schlock out there?

That’s a tough question. I think there are some people who just want to make money. But I also think there are many people who really believe they’re making something educational but they don’t have the right training or the right advisors or mentors. And to be fair, the business model is very tough and the competition is even tougher. Sadly, usually the first budget item that gets cut is the educational consultant.

What are some of your biggest challenges at the Center? What keeps you up at night?

There are a lot of good organizations out there in a similar space. How do you find a way to work together that makes sense? I’ve met a lot of other really caring people at other great organizations, and though we’re not all doing the same thing, we’re doing similar enough things that we’re competing for funding—which is limited. How do you stay afloat as a small nonprofit in tough economic times? I’ve had some great, exciting conversations with people I’d like to partner with, but then how do you keep the conversation going and moving forward when you’re in different locations and everyone is busy? When you’re working with multiple organizations, and everyone has their own priorities, how do you keep the excitement alive?

That sounds daunting.

The daunting stuff is actually what gets me most excited. What I want to do is daunting, but that’s why it’s thrilling. I want the Center to help the next generation of “Freds.” It’s about carrying on the legacy. In 20 years, I want to run into people working with young children or people making great content and have them come up to me and say, “Hey, the Fred Rogers Center inspired me.”

Is there anything you’re doing at this upcoming conference that particularly excites you?

It gets back to the question of who the next generation will be. On opening night, we’re doing a session called Fred Chats. We’ve invited five young people between the ages of 17 and 22 to talk on different topics. It’s important we have these people here. I know we’ll have lots of brilliant people who will be part of the conference—but it is important to me that we also include the next generation. What ideas do they have? What are they doing that can make us see things differently? Mentoring is a two-way street. I’m always amazed at what I learn from interns.

So this next generation idea is really key.

Otherwise it’s just going to be the same group of us getting old together. That’s what worries me. And in a way it has nothing to do with Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, the show. It’s okay that the next generation never saw it. The important thing is that they not forget Fred Rogers—the man and what he stood for. That’s what’s important for me.

How Can Adults Help Young Children Learn From Screens?

As we near the end of the school year, here in Pittsburgh we’ll be spending some time thinking about our youngest learners. We know that high-quality early learning experiences can make important differences in kids’ lives—differences that they’ll carry with them as they grow.

Low-income young children need particular attention. On average, they enter school with significant shortfalls in areas such as vocabulary. And national research has found that investments in high-quality pre-K education can help prevent these achievement deficits between low-income students and their higher-income peers, as well as produce longer-term benefits such as raising high school graduation and employment rates.

In their 2014 report, Using Early Childhood Education to Bridge the Digital Divide, the RAND Corporation finds that low-income children also lack the same access to technology as their more-advantaged peers, and that without this access, low-income kids are missing out on important opportunities for learning.

RAND and PNC Grow Up Great gathered experts at a forum in Pittsburgh last week to discuss if and how technology could be used to support learning in the early years—a conversation that’s been a long time coming.

“The early childhood community has been a little averse to talking about technology in any deep way,” the New America Foundation’s Lisa Guernsey told us in a Q&A. “And for good reasons, honestly. There is fear that technology in a preschool classroom might lead to kids sitting around staring at the TV. There is also fear that kids might get pushed into things before they are developmentally ready. Everyone wants kids to have a well-rounded, hands-on, exploratory learning environment, but those types of fears have hung over the question of what role technology should play in that.”

One of RAND’s research questions at their forum—“How do we define appropriate use of technology in early childhood education?”—is something local experts have looked at closely.

The Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College partnered with the National Association for the Education of Young Children to define quality media experiences for young children. The Fred Rogers Center’s work has been important in helping educators, media developers, and parents to better understand how children learn from screens and to apply the knowledge to improve young children’s media experiences.

Even at their youngest ages, we want people interacting with kids as they interact with media. 
In her recently released TEDxTalk, Guernsey says we’re at a pivotal moment in our need for a national conversation about children, learning, and media.

Young children, Guernsey stresses, learn from conversation. And even at their youngest ages, we want people interacting with kids as they interact with media. In her work at New America, Guernsey is providing important leadership on improving experiences for low-income children and seizing opportunities that technology may provide.

“We have the power to talk with our kids about what they’re seeing and to understand the media in new ways with them,” Guernsey said, “to help them see how it might related to their outside world.”

Michael Robb, the Fred Rogers Center’s director of education and research, agrees. “It’s not just quantity of talk, it’s also quality of talk,” he said in a blog post. “Depending on age, quality conversations around media should go beyond just describing what’s on screen, to talking about hypotheticals (what might happen if you do this?) or engaging in critical thinking (why do you think that character did xyz?).”

Similarly, when reading an e-book with a young child, experts at the Fred Rogers Center recommend treating the experience the same as if you were using a print book: put the child in your lap, point to objects on the screen, talk with the child, and introduce new vocabulary.

Guernsey proposes that all families of young children should have a “media mentor,” someone to help them make choices about media and learn to use that media in developmentally appropriate ways. This mentor could be a preschool teacher, a day care provider, or a parent. Librarian Cen Campbell recommends a children’s librarian as a mentor, whose expanding roles include making recommendations to parents about how to best use media with their child at home, using apps or e-books during story time, or incorporating new media into their media collections.

Guernsey, Robb, and Campbell are three of the experts gathering in Pittsburgh for the 2014 Fred Forward Conference next week, a biannual event that explores Fred Rogers’ lasting legacy. This year marks the Center’s 10-year anniversary.

How Early Should We Be Teaching STEM?

For many parents and teachers, tackling topics like engineering and science with children can seem daunting. Questions like, “Why is the sky blue?” can leave adults feeling like they don’t have the answers. However, many experts believe that this kind of “science talk” is just what children need in their early years, before the fear of being wrong materializes in formal and more competitive learning environments.

“In 20 years as a STEM educator, I have rarely gone a day without hearing or reading two common refrains about elementary education. If these themes were reduced to bumper sticker slogans they would read as follows: Elementary teachers fear science. Children are born scientists,” explained Doug Haller, principal of Haller STEM Education Consulting. Haller, a former educator, has made STEM education his business, literally, and now runs the blog STEM Education: Inspire, Engage, Educate.

Early learning experts have begun to tackle this conundrum. Sesame Street, long known for its pioneering efforts to teach basic math and literacy skills to young children has, in the last four years adjusted the show’s seasonal curricula to include specific science and engineering concepts and to emphasize more specific investigative skills.

For example, the character Grover, who was traditionally known for confidently making mistakes, is now “Super Grover 2.0.” This new version of the Muppet uses trial and error to solve seemingly silly problems like, say, a cow that is stuck in a doorway because of an inhibiting hairdo. Grover’s solutions are now directly linked to science concepts like spatial reasoning. Sesame Workshop will soon be unveiling a new online hub on its website, with new videos, online and mobile games, and parent and teacher resources on teaching science.

The best part about Sesame Street’s new curriculum is that it’s working. While there currently is no publicly available standardized assessment tool to gauge preschoolers’ science knowledge, recent studies conducted by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces of the show, have found that children can learn sophisticated vocabulary and valuable science concepts from shows like Sesame Street.

Aside from appealing to children’s inherent desire to ask questions about their environment, there are other reasons experts support using STEM concepts in pre-K classrooms.

“One often overlooked benefit of early childhood STEM programs is that they can counteract the destructive and persistent belief that math is for boys,” said Linda Rosen, CEO of Change the Equation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving STEM learning in a recent report. “Boys and girls alike internalize this belief as early as second grade, long before any actual gender differences in performance. We need to nip those attitudes in the bud, especially since math is the language of STEM.”

In addition to being the language of STEM, seminal research by Greg Duncan, professor at UC Irvine, has shown that pre-kindergarten mathematical knowledge is actually the highest predictor of later academic success. And early childhood exposure to STEM concepts not only helps to diffuse gender norms, like Change the Equation’s Rosen said, but can also help fight other harmful notions that often prevent children from pursuing their science-based interests.

For example, Lisa Guernsey, author of “Screen Time: How Electronic Media—From Baby Videos to Educational Software—Affects Your Young Child,” explored the benefits of teaching young children computer programming skills, like coding, in a recent op-ed for the New York Times.

Guernsey spoke to Claire Caine, a technology instructor at the Jewish Community Day School in Boston, where students have been testing out Scratch Jr., a new programming language designed for kindergarten students. “The earlier you catch them, the better off they are,” Caine told Guernsey. “The idea that they might not be good at something hasn’t entered their mind yet.”

Guernsey also noted that children are less likely to be swayed by stereotypes before age eight or nine. She has explored effective, hands-on ways to teach early engineering concepts in preschool and elementary-level classrooms. In a recent piece for the Smithsonian’s online magazine, she explained the game “Ramps and Pathways,” which has children construct ramps for marbles using common objects like blocks and strips of wooden molding. “In Ramps and Pathways classrooms, children explore the properties and possibilities inherent in a few simple materials,” said Guernsey.

Guernsey also interviewed Beth Van Meeteren, professor at the University of Northern Iowa, about the game. Van Meeteren wrote her dissertation on the subject, and has recorded videos of students’ decision-making skills as they build and rebuild their designs. She once saw a first-grade student build a structure over several days, culminating in 13 three-foot ramps in a “labyrinth-like” design that spiraled to the ground. “The marble traveled 39 feet on a structure that took up only nine square feet of floor space,” Guernsey wrote.

Van Meeteren explained that the design was entirely the student’s idea, and that games like “Ramps and Pathways” can teach a multitude of skills in the classroom—not just math. “I’d love to get this into more classrooms,” she said. “It seems that only gifted classrooms are allowed this quality instruction. All children benefit.”

Ideally, STEM learning will continue to find more outlets in early childhood classrooms, as well as kids’ media. But, until then, it’s up to teachers and parents to tackle STEM topics head on and meet young learners where they are, before it’s too late.

At Clinton Global Initiative, an Alliance for Early Learning in the Digital Age

This post originally appeared at the Fred Rogers Center.

“If we don’t apply what we know to helping our kids…are we really going to be able to attain the American dream?”  With these words, Hillary Clinton set the theme of personal commitment to quality early childhood education at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America conference.

Through her Too Small to Fail partnership with Next Generation, Clinton’s leadership and engagement go far in advancing awareness of and the potential for real progress in early childhood research and advocacy, including:

  • building on the science of early brain development,
  • providing families with the information and tools they need to optimize learning and development for their young children, and
  • acknowledging the importance of early learning and early health from birth through age 5.

In addition to attending plenary panel discussions that spanned a wide variety of topics, nearly 80 of us spent time in discussions as part of the early childhood education working group.  Under the leadership of Lisa Guernsey from the New America Foundation and Jacqueline Jones, formerly with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Early Learning, leaders from nonprofit, corporate, academic, government, and advocacy groups identified key issues and committed to action.

And what an amazing collection of ideas for action resulted.  Over the coming weeks, organizations indicated plans to follow up for further discussion of ideas including:

  • innovative financing for early childhood programs,
  • mapping early childhood community systems for coordinated delivery of resources,
  • using mobile technology and social networking tools to deliver information to parents, and
  • creating a national system of “digital badges” to recognize and create incentives for early childhood professional development.

In addition, I met with members of the Alliance for Early Learning in a Digital Age, a partnership among the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College, the TEC Center at Erikson Institutethe Ounce of Prevention FundPBSSesame Workshop, and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center.

The purpose of our Alliance is to optimize the potential of digital media as important tools for quality early learning and school readiness.  We’ll be focusing on four points of action:

  • Compiling and communicating research on what we know, and building a new research agenda, regarding the use and impact of digital media and technology in early learning and development;
  • Inspiring and driving research-based innovation in digital media for learning;
  • Engaging and supporting families in their choices of whether and how to use digital media;
  • Empowering educators to integrate digital media and technology creatively, appropriately, and equitably.

Our six organizations are committed to collectively apply our unique resources and networks to make progress in these four areas.  We will work closely with and showcase Pittsburgh and Chicago as early learning innovation hubs, where digital and nondigital resources are intentionally and creatively integrated to link quality learning in formal and informal settings.

The momentum coming out of CGI America, combined with the early learning initiatives of President Obama’s administration, are built on the dedication and hard work over the years by tens of thousands of early childhood professionals, advocates, corporations, policymakers, program developers, and funders.  Most important, they dedicate influence and resources for making an important move toward ensuring the opportunity to dream, and to succeed, for all U.S. children.

 

Occupy the Classroom: A Solution to Bridging the Gap

Beginning on Wall Street, the Occupy protests are popping up all over the nation. Although many media outlets would have you believe otherwise, the protesters have a unified message: it’s time to bridge the economic gap. Most talk about socioeconomic inequalities focuses around jobs and unfair lending practices, but as one New York Times columnist points out, we might be missing the point. At the root of these issues are people and before these people are advantaged and disadvantaged adults, they’re children. More importantly, they’re students. In Nicholas D. Kristof’s Op-Ed piece, he urges us to walk away from Wall Street for a moment and consider “occupying” the classroom instead.

Kristof writes, “One common thread, whether I’m reporting on poverty in New York City or in Sierra Leone, is that a good education tends to be the most reliable escalator out of poverty. Another common thread: whether in America or Africa, disadvantaged kids often don’t get a chance to board that escalator.”

Before talk of employment, lending practices, and taxation, the issue that most determines an individual’s ability to rise from poverty is their education. Those whose wealth allows them access to high quality education have a better chance of succeeding in school and in their future. Those who don’t are often “left behind.” By investing more focus and money in education, we could level the playing field in this regard. When everyone receives and equally valuable education, children have a more equal chance at economic prosperity.

Kristof continues, “Maybe it seems absurd to propose expansion of early childhood education at a time when budgets are being slashed. Yet James Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago, has shown that investments in early childhood education pay for themselves. Indeed, he argues that they pay a return of 7 percent or more — better than many investments on Wall Street.”

Not only have programs aimed at improving education to disadvantaged students proven effective, but the results pay for themselves when it comes to federal spending. As Kristof puts it, “the question isn’t whether we can afford early childhood education, but whether we can afford not to provide it.”

We want to hear what you think. Do you agree that more attention should focus on education?