No 3-Year-Old Left Behind

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photoAt 8 am, do you know where your three-year-old is? Your four-year-old? A big new movement wants to put them — all the nation's tiny tots — in school. Universal pre-kindergarten, it's called. And it's catching on fast, in red states and blue. Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia — all leaders.

Now, the '08 presidential campaign has grabbed on to "universal pre-K." Critics say it pulls tots out of homes and can "drill and kill" creative minds. Supporters say American kids, especially the poor, need more than day care.

This hour, On Point: No toddler left behind. The push for universal pre-K education.Guests:

David Kirp, professor of public policy at the University of California-Berkeley and author of "The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics."

Richard Lee Colvin, former education reporter for the Los Angeles Times, he's now director of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at the Columbia University Teachers College.

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, professor of child development, co-director of the National Center for Children and Families, and professor of pediatrics at Columbia University.

Douglas Besharov, social welfare policy scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.

This program aired on November 1, 2007.


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