5 ideas for putting Kids First

March 11th, 2011

In much of our debate about education policy today, it seems we leave out the kids. The kids sometimes seem like fungible chess pieces that we move around some kind of public policy Monopoly board. To often, to many of these kids go directly to jail, without ever passing go! A good example of our misguided policy priority is how little we fund the Head Start program. It's efficacy should be a settled issue. The statistics are clear that those kids with quality, early education are more likely to graduate from high school, go to college, stay healthy and earn 35% more. Economists calculate the benefit to cost ratio at an amazing seventeen-to-one. Yet today's N.Y. Times has a story about how Republicans still want to severely cut the funding for Head Start. Education policy expert David Kirp strongly disagrees.

David Kirp thinks we need a new kind of policy. A simple one really. One that puts kids at the center of the discussion. Starting with 5 simple ideas, he seeks to reshape America's failing approach to our kids and outlines it in his book Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children's Lives and America's Future. My conversation with David Kirp: