Early education gap not a 'red' or 'blue' issue

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan might have been preaching to the choir -- on one subject, anyway -- in a Monday address to some Atlanta business leaders. At least the "Amens," metaphorically speaking, seem sincere.

The country's highest-ranking educator was in Georgia this week preaching the sermon of early childhood education. One governor was already a believer 20 years ago when Zell Miller pushed for it as a lottery-funded program, and the current governor, Nathan Deal, recently pushed to have funding for a full prekindergarten calendar restored to the state budget.

As reported in Tuesday's edition of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Duncan was in town urging business leaders to be advocates for more and better education of preschool children. Given that the event was titled the 2013 National Business Leader Summit on Early Childhood Investment, it wasn't likely the secretary would be subjected to a lot of heckling.

But Duncan emphasized something all of us already know, or should know: We're nowhere near where we should be (or where other countries already are), and failure to address the problem is bad business, both figuratively and literally.

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