Edward L. Glaeser rightly touts the many proven benefits of high-quality preschool, as demonstrated by his teacher, Nobel laureate James Heckman, and other leading economists (“Preschool alters lives — or adds to status quo,” Op-ed, Feb. 22). However, Glaeser misses the mark in describing the plan for increased investments in early education that Governor Patrick has sent to the Legislature. The day Glaeser yearns for — “to let parents choose from a variety of systems” — is already here.
When the Legislature, working closely with my organization and others, created the nation’s first Department of Early Education and Care in 2005, it charged the new department with infusing quality into all the settings where parents choose to send their children. These include community-based centers, public school pre-kindergarten, family child care homes, and Head Start.
Since 2005, Massachusetts has laid a strong foundation for a statewide system of high-quality early education and care that includes an oversubscribed scholarship for working educators earning college degrees, developmentally appropriate standards aligned with the K-12 system, and a shared definition of quality. The plan before the Legislature would help bring this system to scale. It emphasizes quality and respects parent choice.