Pre-K, Early Learning Front Of Mind At Education Forum

Mar 6, 2018

Leaders in the field of education from San Antonio and beyond gathered at the Mays Family Center at the Witte Museum on March 6, 2018 for the third annual Regional PK-12 Public Education Forum. From the keynote speaker, Dr. Steven Barnett, to the panel discussion, an emphasis was placed on early childhood education, especially in the years prior to kindergarten. The panel also discusses the importance of qualified teachers, and ways to encourage educators to strive for the goal of becoming a “master teacher.”

You can listen to the event through the embedded audio link below, or browse some highlights in the text.

Dr. Steven Barnett - Founder/Director, Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University

On the benefits of early education: “When we increase achievement, decrease problems in school, we reduce the costs of remediation and special education. When we cut crime, we reduce the costs of the criminal justice system. When we increase productivity and economic growth, we make it possible for the public sector to afford more of the things we want without raising taxes. So another way of looking at this as an intervention is, if there was a public policy that could do all these things, and in the long run lower your tax burden… where else are you going to find something that does that?”

Dr. Cynthia Osborne – Director, Center of Health & Social Policy, LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT-Austin

“There really is that demand for our little ones going to school early, but we [in Texas] really do lag in quality. Our friends in Arkansas implemented a beer tax, and they have higher quality Pre-K than we have. New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana… It’s really important that we commit. If we’re going to do it, we need to do it right.”

Kelsey Clark – Principal, Boston Consulting Group Dallas

“We often too narrowly focus on education for early childhood education and we don't pay enough attention to physical and emotional so especially in those early years. Zero [to] five, there is a huge interconnection between health education as well as things like social services and other services that those kids need, so really not looking enough and broad enough, looking at that whole child. The second piece is ...  not looking at whole spectrum. So, too often we focus on pre-K, and there's a huge success... but how do you actually make sure that's aligned through K through 3rd, so any of those gains that you have you don’t lose all the way through third grade.”

Moderator: Robert Rivard - The Rivard Report Speakers:Kate Rogers - Exec. VP, Holdsworth Leadership CenterDr. Ryan Lugalia-Hollon - Executive Director, SA P16 Plus Keynote:Dr. Steven Barnett - Founder/Director, Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University Presentation of Education Champion Award: Laura Saldivar Luna - Executive Director Teach for America San Antonio Panelists:

  • Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Director of the Center of Health and Social Policy at LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT-Austin
  • Dr. Sarah Baray, CEO Pre-K 4 SA
  • Kelsey Clark, Principal, Boston Consulting Group Dallas
  • Dr. Alejandra Barraza, Principal, Carroll Early Childhood Education Center, SAISD