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D.C. Earns High Marks in Pre-K Education

2010 State of Preschool Report Released

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Pre-K progress is measured against the 2002 State of Preschool Report, which was the first one issued.

    A big congrats to our 3- and 4-year-old readers!

    According to a recent national report, the young ones are probably receiving a quality education at a relatively well-funded preschool (also, kudos on the whole reading thing).

    The 2010 State of Preschool Yearbook released this week by the National Institute on Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University gives D.C. high marks for program spending and enrollment.

    About 80 percent of the city’s 4-year-olds and 49 percent of its 3-year-olds were enrolled in programs in 2009-10, compared to a national average of about 31 percent enrollment of 4-year-olds and only 8 percent of 3-year-olds, according to NIEER data.

    The District also spent well above the national average of spending per child in pre-k programs -- $4,028 per child -- having put in $11,457 per child. Rated against a series of benchmarks for quality -- including those for early learning standards, teacher degrees and maximum class size -- city programs earned 8 out of a possible 10.

    The report did not rank D.C. among the states according to resources or enrollment, because the city cannot be directly compared to state programs, according to the Institute. The D.C. Public Charter School was profiled seperately form the Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion Program due to a variability in their quality standards and requirements.

    On a national level, no existing state pre-K programs have made advances in meeting NIEER's benchmarks for teacher qualifications and training. NIEER's newsletter notes that this might change in the future as a result of a recent 2011 federal budget deal, which made a portion of Race to the Top funds available for states to improve early care and education

    The 2010 State Preschool Yearbook -- an annual study conducted by Steven Barnett, co-director of the institute -- is the eighth in a series of annual reports profiling state-funded pre-kindergarten programs in the United States.

    Click here to read the report for yourself.  Just make sure you do it before bedtime.