Making the Hours Count

Making the Hours Count. New America Foundation. Alex Holt. August 6, 2014.

With growing public interest in how states and localities provide access to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, policymakers are increasingly being forced to confront the numerous, contradictory ways in which children’s learning opportunities are measured. Labels like “half-day” and “full-day” have become widely embraced by state and local governments offering pre-K and kindergarten, but these terms have come to take on widely varying meanings. Holt argues that these terms need to be scrapped: that governments and organizations using public revenue to fund education should be required to report publicly the number of hours that children have the opportunity to attend pre-K and kindergarten in their jurisdictions. The upshot will be fairer comparisons of learning time, allowing policymakers to make better judgments about the influence of classroom time on learning outcomes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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