Atlantic Monthly: Why Does America Invest So Little in Its Children?
“I think we value our children less than other nations do,” said Arne Duncan, the former U.S. secretary of education who pushed hard for increased federal investment in early care and education during his seven-year tenure in the Obama administration. “I don’t have an easier or softer or kinder way to say that.”
In 2012, the U.S. ranked 35th among developed economies in pre-primary- or primary-school enrollment for 3- to 5-year-olds, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international economic association.
The implications of failing to offer public preschool, especially for children from the highest-need communities, are “massive,” Duncan said. “It’s a loss of human potential. We don’t truly believe there’s tremendous talent in rural America or among black and brown children or among poor children. So we choose to under-invest.”