Hooray for Alice Seagren

Since the Saint Paul Pioneer Press does not offer home delivery in the western suburbs, I missed education commissioner Alice Seagren's commentary in last Sunday's PiPress. So here are my belated kudos to Commissioner Seagren for calling Ready4K on its "50%" statistic (see previous post). I have posted the commentary on the Minnesota Education Reform News web site, in case you missed it.

Commissioner Seagren acknowledged that school readiness is a real issue, while scolding activists for manipulating the results of last year's Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) school readiness study and asking parents to call legislators to say they are "scared for our children." So let's address the situation, but leave the fear factor out of it. And what about the $700 million that the state is already spending on ECFE? Dare we ask whether all of this money is being well-spent?

Should we spend additional money to target these at-risk children? Perhaps. But first we need to examine how we are using the $700 million being spent now on child care and preschool programs. We need to be strategic and focused, getting results from the providers who receive these funds to serve our children before we talk of new money for new programs.

Hooray, hooray, hooray.