We often equate the value of early childhood education with school readiness and healthy development but rarely with social justice.
In a New York Times editorial, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nicholas D. Kristof, did just that! In a piece titled “Occupy the Classroom,” Kristof suggests that quality early childhood education addresses the “structural inequality that many young children never get the skills to compete.”
He states, “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. Whether in America or Africa, disadvantaged kids often don’t get a chance to board that escalator.”
He cites scholars and economists, including James Heckman who spoke at the Missouri Business Leaders Summit sponsored by Parents as Teachers, who note the economic value of early childhood education. This isn’t new information; we’ve known this for decades. The question is, do we have the collective will to reach out to families and close the achievement gap—not just at kindergarten but throughout life—for disadvantaged children?
Will you spread this message and help create a movement for social justice for children?