Journal Article: From Research to Policy and Practice: The School of the 21st Century


EDUCATIONAL change, EDUCATIONAL planning, SCHOOL improvement programs, ACADEMIC achievement, CHILD mental health, SOCIAL policy, achievement gap, child care, preschool education, school reform, universal preschool


Zigler, Edward; Finn-Stevenson, Matia




Current education reform policies focus on raising academic achievement and ensuring that all students have access to high-quality education. Because the achievement gap is apparent even before children enter school, the authors believe that education reform must encompass the early childhood years. The current dialogue about universal preschool presents an opportunity to address the need for a national system for early care and education. The authors believe this system should provide quality child care and preschool experiences for all children and embrace a whole-child approach that nurtures not only cognitive development but physical and mental health and social-emotional behaviors that are also important to successful schooling. The School of the 21st Century provides an example of an effective early care and education system using the public schools. The authors' work with the School of the 21st Century shows that schools can provide high-quality, developmentally appropriate care and that these programs benefit later school performance. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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