Wednesday, December 2, 2020

3 Md. Democrats find the good in pre-K


All three Democratic candidates for governor have proposals for expanding pre-kindergarten education in Maryland, which they discussed in a segment of Monday’s debate, Maryland reports. Lt Gov Anthony Brown has been attacking Atty Gen Doug Gansler for his failure to promise universal pre-K across Maryland, while Delegate Heather Mizeur expressed great excitement: “We are finally going to tackle the achievement gap in our schools,” she said.

The article also features some links to research about preschool, but the headline goes something like this: Students in Maryland who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school, a sort of proxy for poverty in the US, score 30 points below their wealthier counterparts in math and 27 points below them in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, known as the Nation’s Report Card.

Only Connecticut and the District of Columbia have a wider rich-poor achievement gap in math, according to data reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES, a branch of the US Department of Education. In reading, the gap in Maryland is a little lower than the national average, but schools always seem to spin that by reminding everyone there’s still work to do.

The article goes on to bring in other research and quote the Democratic candidates a little more. We reported in March that the Maryland General Assembly had passed landmark legislation allowing more students to attend pre-K classes in public schools. Since then, plans have started to emerge from gubernatorial hopefuls, and when it comes to politics in Maryland, Maryland is the place to look.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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