ESEA: Leaving the littlest children behind

The good news is that Congress is finally focusing on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act (ESEA) to boost student achievement and ensure that more go on to college. The bad news is that the administration's blueprint for rewriting the law formerly known as No Child Left Behind in fact leaves many children behind by leaving out Pre-K.

Luckily, there's still a chance to expand the bill. In its tenth and final hearing on reauthorization, the Senate HELP Committee yesterday debated the importance of adding PreK to ESEA. HELP chairman Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, laid out the argument in his opening remarks.

The campaign Pre-K Now by the Pew Center on the States yesterday launched ads in Capitol Hill publications urging lawmakers not to neglect "the most rigorously evaluated and effective education reform of the last half-century: high-quality pre-kindergarten." See the ad here.

We need to raise our voices and urge Congress to act in the interests of our littlest students--those who have the most to gain and also the most to lose in their education. In this cute and clever TV ad by the NEA, children speak up for themselves.

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