PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Nicholas Kristof suggests in a New York Times article “Occupy the Classroom”, that early childhood education is more important than Occupy Wall Street. More important, he writes, than the billionaires taxed at lower rates than modest earners, is the inequality that many young people never get the skills to compete.

He cites the significant performance gaps existing between poor and affluent students even before kindergarten and widening as kids go farther in school.

Quoting noted economists, Kristof argues that investments in early childhood pay a return of 7% or more, better than many Wall Street investments.

Head Start is a place to begin. The program now serves 900,000 low-income children, and while test score advantages fade away, it has had significant long term impact.

Kids who participate are less likely to repeat grades, have learning disabilities or poor health associated with poverty. They’re more likely than their siblings to finish high school and go to college. Early childhood programs are a worthwhile investment.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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