The redlines in Obama's pre-K proposal

How will we determine which kinds of teachers are deemed qualified? This is presumably a domain in which different approaches might yield different conclusions. One assumes that public employee unions will make an effort to control this certification process. The definition of “well-trained,” if experience is any guide, may well include some level of postgraduate instruction, a boon to incumbent higher education providers. These institutions will serve as yet another pressure group designed to narrow the number of potential instructors.

Moreover, the federal government is explicitly establishing that teachers must be “paid comparably to K-12 staff,” even if, for example, state and local initiatives determine that, for example, it is better to have more less-expensive staffers than fewer more-expensive staffers. The federal government is also insisting on small class sizes — so even if it makes more sense for a pre-K programs to have a high adult to child ratio but teachers who are paid substantially more than K-12 staff, that option is off the table.

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