U.S. secretary of education
U.S. secretary of education
There is no better investment we can make than in high-quality early childhood education. [Investing more in it] is the right thing to do from an economic standpoint, but more importantly to me, this is the right thing to do from a human potential standpoint.
We’ve seen lots of longitudinal studies [showing a correlation between high-quality preschool and] higher graduation rates, higher college-going rates, lower rates of teenage pregnancies, lower rates of dropouts, lower rates of incarceration long-term, higher rates of employment.
Not every study is going to show you the exact same thing. But I think fairly conservative estimates by folks like James Heckman, who’s a lot smarter than I, he’s a Nobel Prize-winning economist, show a return of at least 7 to 1 in our investment. In tough economic times like these, when I think all of us in government are rightfully challenged to say: Every dollar you are spending, what are the benefits for taxpayers, for the country?
Two- and 3- and 4-year-olds don’t vote; they don’t have lobbyists; they don’t have PACs. But for all the challenges, for all the dysfunction we see now in Washington, I’m actually pretty hopeful [that Congress will fund expanding pre-K].
Our children here in America are as smart, talented, committed, creative, entrepreneurial as children anywhere in the world. But we have to give them a level playing field on which to compete in a globally competitive economy. And I promise you that Singapore, South Korea, India and China, their educational strategy is not sequestration.
SuperFan badge holders consistently post smart, timely comments about Washington area sports and teams.
Culture Connoisseur Badge
Culture Connoisseurs consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on the arts, lifestyle and entertainment.
Fact Checker Badge
Fact Checkers contribute questions, information and facts to The Fact Checker.
Washingtologists consistently post thought-provoking, timely comments on events, communities, and trends in the Washington area.
Post Writer Badge
This commenter is a Washington Post editor, reporter or producer.
Post Forum Badge
Post Forum members consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on politics, national and international affairs.
Weather Watcher Badge
Weather Watchers consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on climates and forecasts.
World Watcher Badge
World Watchers consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on international affairs.
Post Contributor Badge
This commenter is a Washington Post contributor. Post contributors aren’t staff, but may write articles or columns. In some cases, contributors are sources or experts quoted in a story.
Washington Post reporters or editors recommend this comment or reader post.
You must be logged in to report a comment.
You must be logged in to recommend a comment.
Comments our editors find particularly useful or relevant are displayed in Top Comments, as are comments by users with these badges: . Replies to those posts appear here, as well as posts by staff writers.
All comments are posted in the All Comments tab.
To pause and restart automatic updates, click "Live" or "Paused". If paused, you'll be notified of the number of additional comments that have come in.
More ways to get us