The State Education Standard

National Association of State Boards of Education

January 2018

The impact of early childhood education is undeniable. Recent studies indicate that programs for children under five can significantly decrease special education placement and grade retention, close achievement gaps, and increase high school graduation rates. States see this value too: Forty-three states and the District of Columbia provide state-funded preschool, serving nearly 1.5 million children. Yet access to high-quality early education across the country remains uneven, and many children still enter elementary school unprepared. The new issue of NASBE’s award-winning journal, The State Education Standard, focused on early education and ways state policymakers can ensure all children have a strong start.

Highlights include: 

  • Looking Back, Looking Forward: Tracing the Arc of Early Childhood Policy A 30-year-old NASBE task force on early education still holds water, even as the context and concerns of the field have shifted. Lori Connors-Tadros at CEELO and Learning Policy Institute’s Madelyn Gardner
  • Fully Funding Pre-K through K-12 Funding Formulas While just 11 states have tried it, inclusion of state-funded pre-K in the school funding formula may well be the best option for extending access to more children. W. Steven Barnett and Richard Kasmin of NIEER