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The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674026414
ISBN-10: 0674026411
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Editorial Reviews


What's the best investment we can make in the next generation? David Kirp gives us the answer in this clear and passionate book: early childhood education. The evidence is overwhelming. The need is beyond doubt. Read this and send copies to everyone you know who's concerned about the future.
--Robert B. Reich, author of Supercapitalism

With wit and style, David Kirp offers a forceful and engaging persuasive analysis of the scientific and economic case for universal high-quality preschool.
--Diane Ravitch, author of Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms

The Sandbox Investment masterfully weaves together economic, political, social, and personal histories to reveal how the preschool movement has had such success. It's an invaluable primer for anyone concerned about social reform.
--Deborah Stipek, Dean, School of Education, Stanford University

The Sandbox Investment takes us on a compelling grand tour of the most important frontier in public education-- the first five years of life. More than that, he unveils fresh horizons for policy-making right here on our own planet, right now, from the Great Plains to Great Britain. The verdict is clear: children are born learning. We ignore this fact at great peril to our future.
--Daniel Pedersen, President, Buffett Early Childhood Fund

David Kirp gets the importance of preschool and knows how to tell the story of the smart politics of the heart. The Sandbox Investment offers us the roadmap for making America a much better place to be a child.
--James B. Hunt, Jr., former Governor of North Carolina

One of the most pressing concerns about growing income and wealth inequality is the toll it takes on the ideal of equal opportunity for children. David Kirp's spirited book will persuade you that we may actually be able to do something about this problem.
--Robert H. Frank, author of Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class

Political discussion of preschool is often dominated by ideology. The Sandbox Investment gives us a thoughtful and exceptionally intelligent account of the psychology, economics and sociology of preschool - written in a very lively, readable and enjoyable way. It should be required reading for anyone who is interested in the welfare of young children- which should mean everyone.
--Alison Gopnik, author of The Scientist in the Crib

The first comprehensive portrait of this universal pre-kindergarten (pre-k for short) movement. For those interested in children's and education issues, it's a valuable primer on this significant but relatively new movement.
--Sara Mead (American Prospect 2007-07-18)

A productive read for parents, teachers and policymakers alike...[Kirp] leaves his reader with no doubt that our country would be better off if every child had the opportunity to attend a good-quality preschool and walks the reader through the benefits with concrete examples to explain what universal, quality preschool involves. He also makes a clear distinction between quality education and the education our government is currently providing.
--Amy Alamar (San Francisco Chronicle 2007-11-11)

David L. Kirp presents a cautionary tale of the results to be faced if American children are not provided meaningful, accessible and mandatory prekindergarten programs...The Sandbox Investment chronicles America's attempts to provide meaningful pre-K education to all. It is a clarion call so that we not underestimate the ramifications of a lack of early learning and its effect upon American life in the 21st century. An excellent and necessary read for both the student of education and soon-to-be parents.
--Amy Roberson (Roanoke Times 2007-11-04)

This behind-the-scenes account of shrewd political campaigning introduces readers to key local and national figures in school systems, foundations, universities and legislatures who are trying to develop and run preschools. It also provides a clear and comprehensive account of academic developmental psychology and developmental neuroscience research on the plasticity of the growing brain and the long-term impact of early experience. All the elements that have propelled the preschool movement, such as brain science, molecular genetics, economics, evaluation and issue-framing, are dissected.
--Carol Patton (District Administration 2007-08-01)

The Sandbox Investment comprehensively assesses the policy and politics of the preschool movement in the U.S. Kirp uses a wide range of data sources, including evidence from preschools in Chicago, discussions of preschool experiences in several U.S. states and in Great Britain, and an extensive overview of scientific and social scientific research on the subject. This large body of research, which comes from geneticists, neuroscientists, and economists, reveals that paying for universal preschool up front can reduce the substantial costs associated with crime, poor health, and unemployment later in life...The subject matter could not be timelier.
--N. Kraus (Choice 2008-04-01)

Kirp has written a remarkably well-researched and comprehensive book on where we stand today on pre-K education. The variety of approaches different states have taken to extend education downward is impressive, and it is hard to see how or whether any “one best system” will emerge. Here is an issue that clearly deserves more research and fuller exploration.
--Nathan Glazer (Education Next 2008-06-22)

About the Author

David L. Kirp is Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of fourteen books, most recently Almost Home: America's Love-Hate Relationship with Community.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1 edition (August 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674026411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674026414
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Read The Sandbox Investment. This book chronicles the stories of the rapid expansion of prekindergarten in the U.S in recent years. It lays out what Kirp has called a perfect storm of research support for such programs - findings of long-term effects and return on investment and of how early childhood experience affects brain development. The book makes it clear that only high-quality preschool programs will have such results. It remarks at the unlikely champions of early childhood education, including economists James Heckman and Art Rolnick, actor Rob Reiner, newpaperman David Lawrence, and business leaders and police chiefs throughout the nation. It recounts the stories of open-enrollment prekindergarten in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Florida, as well as Smart Start in North Carolina and Sure Start in Great Britain. For those of us in early childhood education, these stories resonate with the stories of our lives.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a good history of the movement for universal preschool and an informative overview of the successful efforts in the US to move policy and funding toward providing preschool for all. You do not have to be an early care provider or a professional in education to understand the content and the writing is accessible for anyone interested in the issue.
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Format: Hardcover
David Kirp provides interesting and compelling evidence that one of the best gifts we can give our children is a quality preschool education. He provides examples of effective work being done in all kinds of communities with diverse economic and social conditions. We have used this book in our community to inform our local leaders about the need for quality preschool and it has been met with a very positive response. It is an important, fascinating and inspiring read.
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Format: Hardcover
David Kirp uses vivid and interesting examples to show what high quality preschool experiences can mean for students. From the fascinating Perry Preschool to classrooms and centers around the country, this book is wealth of information about what works and what does not work in preschool education for our children. Everyone from policy-makers to parents to all those who care about children should read this book.
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By Ben P. Peck on September 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. As someone who does advocacy work on kids issues. It was really interesting.
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