What explains this focus on early learning in Southern states? As seen in our prior post on this topic, early childhood education is a priority in much of the South. Early education may have been on policymakers’ radars in the South longer than in other states. In 1988, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) issued its report Goals for Education: Challenge 2000, which set educational goals for the year 2000. Among other goals, the report called for “increasing the percentage of ‘at risk’ children served by pre-school and kindergarten programs to 100 percent” as well as screening all children using a readiness assessment before first grade.
Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.