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Pre-K expert on New York program: It’s a model of how not-to

Sara Mead, who directs a center on early childhood policy at the New America Foundation, just e-mailed me a response to my post on pre-K in New York. The state, she says, is “a case study in ‘how to do universal pre-k in a really stupid way that creates problems and doesn’t achieve your goals.'”

But Mead says there’s a better model right next door in (seriously) New Jersey. She writes:

There’s a lot of important stuff going on in New Jersey right now around their Abbot pre-k programs and pre-k expansion there. (I would argue that New Jersey’s progress in pre-k expansion is an example of doing it right in contrast to New York state’s more troubled path on pre-k).

Something to explore. More on the New Jersey program, which started off in 31 high-poverty school districts and could expand statewide, here and here.