Last week, over 40 government, education, non-profit, business and community leaders traveled to Boston, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. to study high quality preschool programs in other cities. It was an inspiring and productive trip!
I’ll have a more detailed summary soon, but here is a quick review.
My favorite part was engaging with teachers and children in their colorful classrooms. The site visits reinforced and confirmed for me what we have seen in the academic research: only preschool that is high quality can truly prepare children for kindergarten and beyond.
And high quality across an entire city is not some abstract concept. We saw it in Boston and Jersey City. High quality preschool requires well-paid, well-qualified teachers with strong, proactive coaching and professional development and evidence-based curricula.
This is our goal for Seattle—high quality preschool for all of our city’s three and four year olds.
On Thursday, I believe we successfully communicated to federal officials and the members of Congress we met with that Seattle intends to do it right for our kids. The fact that Roberto Rodriguez, the President’s special advisor on education, came over from the White House to join our meeting reinforced for me that we are going about this correctly.
I look forward to applying what we’ve learned to build upon the foundation we have in place for Seattle’s Preschool for All efforts.