The kindergarten challenge

Full-day kindergarten offers unequivocal benefits, especially for
low-income students who often come to school already behind. But in most
cases, CPS only pays for half-day kindergarten, forcing schools to
reach into their own already-stretched pockets to provide full-day
programs that many working parents prefer.

On their best behavior

Illinois is the only state that has comprehensive K-12 social-emotional
learning standards, and experts say that it is best if students begin
learning these skills early on. 
In Chicago, several pilot programs have gotten off the ground. But
full-scale implementation of social-emotional learning has been uneven.

Make most of early learning, target cash to kindergarten

When Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the new $500 million
Early Learning Challenge Grant competition in late May, educators
weren’t the only ones who joined him at the event. Duncan was
accompanied by an array of leaders from outside the education world who
endorsed Duncan’s call for increasing investment in early education. “To win the future, our children need a strong start,” Duncan said.