The presidential pre-school watch can officially begin.
The eyes of advocates, educators and many others are now upon President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for education secretary as he initiates an early childhood agenda.
Chicago Schools Chief Arne Duncan made it clear that preschool expansion is among his priorities at a Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
Duncan said he wants to build on the successes of Head Start and Early Head Start and that he believes investment in early childhood is needed because “too many children show up at kindergarten already behind.”
Before Duncan faced the Senate, the New America Foundation posed some excellent policy questions that will be useful for journalists to watch closely in the coming months.
The Senate hearing was hardly a grilling; Duncan received a warm reception and lots of applause throughout the hearing — where his own pre-schooler read and drew.