Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
An early childhood education expert hopes the issue will be a priority in this year’s elections.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Thus far, this year’s election campaign is much like the television show “Seinfeld.”
It’s an election about nothing, in which the two major party gubernatorial candidates compete to see who can come up with the longest list of each other’s not-so-endearing personality traits.
While the politicians babble on, many people across the commonwealth are holding out hope that education will emerge as a priority in 2013.
Craig Ramey isn’t waiting for the candidates to stumble upon the issue on their own.
He’s stepping up to be an eloquent, and scientifically astute, voice in favor of progress on early childhood education.
Ramey and his wife, Sharon, are internationally recognized experts on childhood development. He is a research scholar at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and a professor at Virginia Tech and Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. His groundbreaking research in North Carolina, replicated in other states, shows children enrolled in quality pre-K programs are four times more likely to attend and graduate from a four-year college.
They become members of an educated, skilled population that attracts businesses and jobs to their communities.
The economic impact of early childhood education programs can be “every bit as big as when the railroad first came to Roanoke,” Ramey said last week.
There’s always the danger that candidates and political groups will try to turn early childhood education into a partisan issue. It is not. Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke, a collaboration of early childhood education organizations in this region, is the result of a community effort that includes the United Way and the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce.
But elected officials must be knowledgeable and supportive of policies that further pre-K education. Those interested in increasing access to pre-K education don’t have far to go to find a worldwide expert on the topic who is eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm.
“It’s the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do,” Ramey said. “This is a place where heart and head come together to reinforce the same conclusion.”
Weather JournalPossible scrape with snow Tues