At the start of the year, expanding the Parent Aware quality rating system for pre-K seemed too good and too noncontroversial of a proposal to fail. It was supported by decades of research, including the findings of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation, which showed a substantial increase in test scores and social mobility for children enrolled in programs that participated in the pilot version of Parent Aware. And leaders in both the Republican and Democratic camps had announced their commitment to expanding access to quality pre-k.
Yet in spite of everything it had going for it, the quality rating system failed to make it into the education budget deal. How come?
There are many theories on why it failed, but one thing is certain: even ideas as smart and noncontroversial as the rating system won’t necessarily get through on their own merit alone. They need vigilant advocates to fight for them.
That’s why it’s so important for you to join the second round in the fight for quality pre-K. Governor Dayton said he's committed to early childhood education, and now he has the power to make good on his promise by expanding the Parent Aware rating system. But we can't assume he will. If you haven't already, please click here and let the governor know that failing to remove the blindfold from Minnesota families a second time is, simply put, unacceptable.