In looking at the American Families proposal offered by President Joe Biden last week, there is much to be happy about. Even when it comes to education, one can get excited by major investments in PreK and free community college.
And yes, there is value to extending the 13-year public education continuum to 17 years, ensuring early childhood education and post secondary to all learners.
But what message are we sending when we don’t add any additional dollars to k12? Sure, we have pumped hundreds of billions in recent months for HVAC and Covid testing and other immediate, tactical needs to reopen our classrooms. We are falling short, though, in investing in improved teaching and learning in those same classrooms.
One has to ask, for instance, if PreK is truly the secret sauce when two-thirds of fourth graders are reading at below proficient levels AND we have school districts fighting in federal courts that literacy isn’t a civil or constitutional right.
We explore this issue over at the Soul of Education on the BAM! Radio Network this week. Give it a listen here – https://www.bamradionetwork.com/track/i-dont-want-to-sound-ungrateful-but-public-education-needs-more/.