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Improbable ScholarsThe Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America’s Schools$
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David L. Kirp

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199987498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199987498.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2020

The Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom

Preschool for All

(p.102) 4 The Magic Kingdom
Improbable Scholars

David L. Kirp

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses preschool education in Union City, New Jersey. In the poverty-plagued metropolises of New Jersey, every three- and four-year-old is entitled to attend free, full-day, high-quality preschool for six hours a day, 245 days of the year, a commitment that no other state has come close to making. While Latino families have generally been chary of early education, preferring to keep their toddlers at home with mom, in Union City they have absorbed the message that preschool is the best place for their youngsters. More than nine families in ten avail themselves of this option, choosing among thirty-three different pre-kindergartens. These preschools are different from one another. Some are run by the school system but most are operated by the city or a nonprofit or else maintained as businesses. A few enroll as many as several hundred children, while others, set up in the homes of the proprietors, take care of a dozen toddlers. Out of this agglomeration, Adriana Birne, head of the early education program, is trying to mold a system of uniformly high quality.

Keywords:   early education, public education, preschools, Union City, public schools, school districts, Adriana Birne

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