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July 22, 2009

18.5 million children under age 5

40 years ago this week a man stepped on the moon. Evidently, back then we had the American ingenuity and scientific know-how to achieve this feat. Today, the top engineering schools are compelled to fill their seats with students from all over the world because American high school students can no longer compete internationally at the highest levels in math and science. Test results of the last Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2006 showed our 15 year olds ranked 17th in science and 24th in math relative to the top 30 industrialized nations. Finland ranked tops in both math and science.

Representative Dina Titus, Education and Labor Committee Member and Member of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education says,

Dina Titus.jpg
"We know that children’s experiences in the first five years of life greatly influence brain architecture and chemistry in ways that can have lifelong impacts on learning, behavior, and health. And we know that the knowledge and skills gap between children from less advantaged families and those from higher-income families is evident before elementary school. A high-quality early education – one of the most important opportunities we can give our children – will ensure future generations’ success in school and beyond."
Education budgets are being cut at the local and state level, virtually as we speak. Some communities are taking action. Early Head Start, Head Start and Universal Pre-K programs are important, but much can be done in the home before the child begins school during the earliest, most impressionable years, before age 5.

Please share your comments on what is being done in your community or school district to address early childhood education.

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