U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says he thinks the time has come for a sweeping expansion of early-childhood education programs, like the one that President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union speech. And he’s hoping to get as many states as possible on board.
“The average child from a disadvantaged country comes to school a year to a year and half behind,” Duncan told reporters during a round table discussion Monday in which he made a sales pitch for the program, which faces long odds on Capitol Hill in an austere federal budget year. “Politicians are used to thinking short term. This is the ultimate long-term play.”