Monday, August 22, 2011

Pre-Kindergarten Programs Under Scrutiny

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana's pre-kindergarten programs have become a confusing array of efforts with varying standards, costs and successes, state officials say.
State figures show that seven state and federally funded pre-K programs in Louisiana spend $1,700 to $7,200 per child — and it's not clear just what the state expects the children to learn, or how much taxpayers are getting for the money.
"There needs to be better organization, better structure, better services for the child," Walter Lee, the longest-serving member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, said during a special forum last week. BESE members spent part of a morning on how classes aimed at preparing students for kindergarten are doing, The Advocate reported.
Experts say many children who enter kindergarten behind their peers never catch up academically or socially.

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