Research after Publication
This section is a resource for readers who would like to follow the discussion beyond the publication date of The Education Solution. At least weekly, papers and articles are published that bear on the issues. In this section, Martin Lowy will comment on the new research and ideas and on how they bear on the book’s thesis. These commentaries also may appear on his blog at join-the-conversation.org.
“There's little disagreement about early education's importance, but funding and policy approaches are a different
matter,” Christina A. Samuels wrote in Education Week early in January 2015 under
the headline “Consensus on Early Ed. Value, But Policy Questions Remain”.
“[T]he conversation about early-childhood programs, particularly
preschool, has in many cases transcended political divides. Red states and
Republican lawmakers have taken up the preschool cause almost as eagerly
as Democratic politicians in blue states,” Samuels wrote. But many
questions remain. One set of questions derives from what Samuels called
“the siloed nature of early learning programming”:
There's also the siloed nature of early-childhood programming itself.
A single child might receive services through a federally funded homevisiting
program as an infant; day-care services paid for by a different
federal funding stream as a toddler; a state, federal, or privately
financed preschool at age 4; and a state-funded public education on
entering kindergarten. The connections between all those programs
have traditionally been tenuous or nonexistent, though earlychildhood
policy advocates are working to forge closer bonds among
the many programs that may touch the life of a child in his or her
I did not discuss this silo problem in The Education Solution. But I think
Samuels is making an important point. As I did write, there are hundreds,
possibly thousands of local, state and national programs that are designed
to help less affluent children and families. And they are not coordinated
very well. The Education Solution’s early education program would
encompass a great many of those hundreds or thousands of fragmented
programs and would, thereby, bring more effective help to parents,
children and communities.