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Education reform starts early: Lessons from New Jersey's preK-3rd reform efforts

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Mead, Sara
Publication Date: 
1 Dec 2009

Excerpts from the report:

In 1998, the New Jersey Supreme Court took a then-unprecedented step. It ordered the state to provide high-quality pre-kindergarten programs to all 3- and 4-year-old children in 31 of the state's highest poverty districts, also known as Abbott districts after the longrunning Abbott v. Burke school finance case. Universal pre-K is only one of numerous mandates the court placed on the state and the Abbott districts in its 1998 ruling, but that requirement has had a far-reaching effect on the state's early education system.

This report seeks to describe how New Jersey became a national leader in early education and PreK-3rd, identify its successes and challenges, draw lessons from its experience for policymakers in other states and nationally, and provide recommendations for New Jersey policymakers to translate progress to date into sustained, large scale learning gains.

Entered Date: 
18 Feb 2010
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