DMI Blog

Sarah Solon

Why Four-Year-Olds Are Lucky to Live in Oklahoma

It's easy to say that you care about children and about early-childhood education. If fact, you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't. But it's a whole other story to actually deliver the Pre-School programs kids need in order to begin school with the adequate verbal and math skills required to keep up. Studies have shown that effective Universal Pre-School closes the school readiness gap between low-income kids and more affluent kids, shooting math skills and vocabulary up the charts.

In far too many communities, accessible Pre-School programs are either nowhere to be found or under-funded, of poor quality, and without enough spaces to fill the need. Oklahoma's Universal Pre-School program puts the rest to shame. It is the most successful program in the country, consistently showing the widest participation and marked skill improvement among the 64% of the state's 4-year-olds who participate.

It's time to learn from Oklahoma. And with this in mind, DMI's next Marketplace of Ideas talk will feature Oklahoma State Senator Penny Williams, who crafted the state's successful Pre-School program. She will explain the ins and outs of Pre-School in Oklahoma, distilling the strategy and the process behind the policy.

She will then be joined by a panel, discussing the implications that the lessons learned in Oklahoma can have on Pre-School programs in New York and elsewhere. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Nancy Kolben of the Winning Beginning New York Campaign, and Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez of the Board of Regents will form the panel.

The information's all below. Please join us, and please join the discussion about Pre-School programs here. New York's kids deserve a better start. And if Oklahoma's program is any indication, successful public policy can give it to them.

Monday October 30, 2006 8:00 - 10:30a.m.
The Harvard Club 27 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)

Space is limited. Admission is free.
Please RSVP to or to 212-909-9663.

Light breakfast will be served.

Sarah Solon: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 7:26 AM, Oct 11, 2006 in Progressive Agenda
Permalink | Email to Friend