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Martin Luther King Jr. is jostled in Memphis as the march he's leading on March 28, 1968 turns violent. Photo courtesy University of Memphis Libraries.

Featured Documentary: King's Last March

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. More than four decades later, King remains one of the most vivid symbols of hope for racial unity in America. But that’s not the way he was viewed in the last year of his life.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Invest in early childhood education

File under: child care, education

0 (0 votes)

From: Elizabeth P., Chapel Hill, NC

I'm a researcher at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, working on ways to close the achievement gap between children raised in poverty and other children. The results of one of the studies I work on, the Abecedarian Project, provides strong evidence that early childhood education in a high quality child care setting can have long lasting effects (we now have data through age 30) on the educational outcomes of these children, including more likely to go to college. Higher education is associated with higher economic outcomes -- thus a way to fight poverty!

Further, both neurological research and economic research demonstrate that the earlier in life we begin, the easier it is and the less expensive it is to achieve these results. The cost-benefits analysis of our study found that for every $1 spent, society got back $2.50 (from higher taxes paid on higher incomes because of better educational outcomes). Another long-term study of early educational intervention for children raised in poverty, the Perry Preschool Project, found for every $1 spent, over $12 was saved in reduced crime rates. So, my vote for tackling this problem: working with families and young children from birth. The science backs up this approach very clearly.


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American RadioWorks |
Martin Luther King Jr. is jostled in Memphis as the march he's leading on March 28, 1968 turns violent. Photo courtesy University of Memphis Libraries.

Featured Documentary: King's Last March

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. More than four decades later, King remains one of the most vivid symbols of hope for racial unity in America. But that’s not the way he was viewed in the last year of his life.

Recent Posts

  • 02.04.16

    When School Vouchers Are Not a Leg Up

    School voucher programs are controversial because they allow students to use public funds to pay for private school. A new paper is one of the first to show a school voucher program actually lowering student test scores.
  • 01.28.16

    Learning Financial Literacy

    Most teenagers are not learning about personal finance in school, according to an annual survey on financial literacy. Our guest this week says that needs to change.
  • 01.21.16

    Questioning Inequalities in Higher Ed

    College was once considered the path of upward mobility in this country, and for many people, it still is. But research shows that the higher education system can actually work against poor and minority students, because they often end up at colleges with few resources and low graduation rates.
  • 01.15.16

    Learning as a Science

    What does research say about how students learn best? A group of deans from schools of education around the country has united to make sure future teachers are armed with information about what works in the classroom.