Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Bush Unveils Plan to Improve Early Childhood Education

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Bush Unveils Plan to Improve Early Childhood Education

Article excerpt

President George W. Bush announced "Good Start, Grow Smart," an early childhood initiative aimed at improving the state of early childhood education in preschool programs nationwide on April 2. Under this initiative the federal government will ensure that pre-school curriculums will be aligned more closely with states' K-12 education goals.

"A child who cannot identify the letters of the alphabet in his or her first year of school runs a real risk of staying behind throughout her or his career. We cannot accept this in America," President Bush said. "To close the achievement gap in our schools, we must close the early childhood education gap in our society. Today, I pledge my administration's support in working with parents and families, Head Start and our states to achieve this goal."

States that receive federal funding for early childhood programs will be asked to submit a plan to promote early childhood education. The plan must include guidelines for teaching reading and literacy skills and a plan to improve and expand the training of child care and preschool teachers in their states. States that do not submit comprehensive plans will be in danger of losing federal welfare and child care subsidies.

To better inform families and educators about best practices in early childhood development, the U.S. Department of Education is planning a broad public awareness campaign targeted toward parents, early childhood educators and caregivers. A $45 million research project will be initiated to identify effective early learning literacy programs and teaching strategies. …

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