Get the top 5 daily headlines and breaking news alerts from Seattle’s #1 morning news

The roadmap for Seattle’s preschool plan

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
preschool

SEATTLE — Seattle’s first publicly subsidized preschools will open next fall.  Voters approved the historic program earlier this month by a wide margin.

On Wednesday, Mayor Ed Murray savored the victory and laid out just how the program is going to work.  The ambitious goal is the end the achievement gap between white and minority students.

“Quality preschool is going to make a very real difference for the kids who are here at this Boy’s and Girl’s Club,” said Murray, who was in the southeastern part of the city.  “Their reality is about to change.”

The mayor said the city will host six meetings in the coming weeks to get community feedback on the pre-k plan, including what kind of curriculum parents and others want to see.

The program approved by voters is modest.  It will serve only 200 students next year and ramp up to 2,000 after four years.  Though only a fraction of the city’s 3- and 4-year-olds will be able to take part, the mayor says that’s by design.

“We’re starting small, so we can figure out how we can get this right,” Murray said.  “We’ve learned from Boston and New Jersey.  It was a rough start.”

With the mayor determined not to fail, it’s likely that the new pre-k plan will be one of the most micro-managed programs around.  Lots of attention to detail, including curriculum, to make sure Seattle doesn’t become one of those cities where pre-k has faltered.

Here are some of the plan details that were talked about Wednesday:

  • 2015 start date
  • 1 : 10 teacher to student ratio
  • Mix of incomes represented
  • Citizen Advisory Committee for oversight

It’s going to take years to determine if the program actually reduces the achievement gap and improves high school graduation rates.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s