Missouri’s new State Education Commissioner isn’t losing any time making known many of her ideas for improving education throughout the state. And, part of Chris Nicastro’s effort includes a focus on expanding pre-school education.
"I do feel strongly about it," said Nicastro in an interview with the Missourinet. "I am convinced that early childhood education is the only way that we are going to prepare all of our children to be successful in school."
As far as Nicastro is concerned, pre-school is essential for so many children.
"Many of our children do not have the kind of rich literacy exposure and the kind of rich experiences that prepare them to be successful when they get to kindergarten," said Nicastro. "So, if we can offer early childhood education experiences for all of our children I think we’re going to find that all of them will, in fact, be successful."
Early childhood education is an idea that is quite popular in various parts of the country, but not in Missouri.
"We haven’t had a significant number in Missouri," said Nicastro. "Simply because we haven’t, as a state, had a coordinated effort to providing consistent and common early childhood experiences."
While she favors expansion of pre-school options, the Commissioner does not think mandatory early childhood education is something that should be considered.