Synopses & Reviews
It may "take a village to raise a child," but most American families are struggling, with diminishing social support, to do the job on their own. While parents work longer hours for less and the costs of childcare, healthcare, and college skyrocket, the share of the U.S. budget spent on kids has fallen 22 percent since 1960. More and more children may well not make it to a healthy, productive adulthood. That's terrible for them--and for us as well.
It doesn't have to be this way. In this book, renowned expert David L. Kirp clarifies the importance of investing wisely in children. He outlines a visionary "Kids First" policy agenda that's guided by a "golden rule" principle: Every child deserves what's good enough for a child you love. And he offers lively and inspiring, on-the-ground accounts of five big cradle-to-college initiatives that can change the arc of all children's lives: strong support for parents; high-quality early education; linking schools and communities to improve what both offer children; giving all youngsters access to a caring and stable adult mentor; and providing kids a nest egg to help pay for college or kick-start a career.
An important, well-researched wake-up call, and any part of it that educators and lawmakers take into account is worthwhile”
Diane Ravitch, Author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System
David Kirps book could change the policy debate about how to improve the lives of children. Its smart, sharp, and clear about what we need to do to lift the kids who need help the most.”
Robert B. Reich, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Chancellors Professor Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
In an era when answers to Americas myriad social problems seem dismally remote, David Kirp comes to the rescue with important ideas for giving our kids better lives. Kirp thinks big, writes beautifully, and compels our attention. His agenda is practical and necessary. And if Americas children had any political clout, theyd demand it.”
Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Yale University
David Kirp is a leading scholar who in this book provides us with a knowledge-based, cradle-to-college agenda that merits the attention of every parent and policymaker in America.”
"Kids First is an eye-opener, a Lasik-like procedure to cure the tunnel vision that afflicts many of those who fancy themselves education experts. Kirp shines a light on what we need to do outside of schools even as we seek to redesign our schools to prepare students to succeed in today's fast-changing world."
Kirkus, January 15, 2011
An important, well-researched wake-up call, and any part of it that educators and lawmakers take into account is worthwhile.”
A visionary call for renewing, revamping, and re-energizing public support for children--and why doing so is essential to America's future
Smart, sharp, and clear about what we need to do to lift the kids who need help the most.” Diane Ravitch
While parents work longer hours for less and the costs of childcare, healthcare, and college skyrocket, the share of the U.S. budget spent on kids has fallen 22 percent since 1960. In Kids First, policy expert David Kirp issues a visionary call for renewing, revamping, and reenergizing public support for children, and offers inspiring, on-the-ground accounts of five big cradle-to-college initiatives that can change the arc of all childrens lives.
About the Author
David L. Kirp is a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was founding director of the Harvard Center on Law and Education. He recently served on President Obama's transition team. His most recent books are The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics and Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education.