The pre-K was completed in 90 days in order to open at the beginning of the school year.
664 pre-kindergarten was built in part to address the overcrowding within Community School District 20 and in part to address the City of New York's efforts to provide free full-day pre-K to all four-year-olds.
But the new principal, Anissa Brown Dennis, expanded collaboration and professional development for teachers, implemented an aligned reading and math curriculum from pre-K through third grade, and offered summer learning and after-school programs for struggling students.
Advocates of universal pre-K are nothing if not visionary.
The phrase "school readiness" is illustrative: If pre-K gets kids ready for school, then it's not school.
RESEARCH SHOWS THAT HIGH-QUALITY PREschool has a positive impact on children's lives: Adult alumni of high-quality preschools have higher education attainment, employment, and earnings, and are less likely to be involved in crime than adults from similar backgrounds who didn't attend pre-K as children.
Rather than fearing fade-out, or trying to downplay it, pre-K supporters should highlight it as an argument for improving early elementary school programs.
CRITICS OF THE UNIVERSAL PRE-K MOVEment sometimes fret that pre-K advocates want to "extend public schooling down," to serve younger children for whom it's not appropriate.
Integrating pre-K and other early childhood programs with existing elementary schools can actually spur those schools to serve children better in the years following pre-K.
As advocates work to build publicly funded pre-K systems that emphasize social and emotional development, community connections, and comprehensive services, they're creating proof points that demonstrate how entire public education systems can deliver these things--and why they must.
The universal pre-K movement also offers public education advocates and reformers models for academic reform.