Recently, David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times, penned an op-ed titled “A Really Good Thing Happening in America,” and highlighted the public-private partnerships that led to the creation of Cincinnati Preschool Promise.
In the article, Brooks refers to the state of early childhood education in Cincinnati, stating “The data suggested that the private pre-k programs were performing better than the public ones. So the public school system allocated some of its money to support other, private programs, making Cincinnati one of the first American cities to offer near-universal preschool.”
CPS Board of Education Member Eve Bolden responded to Brooks’ column in a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times. The full text of the letter is below:
In the October 8, 2018 op-ed from David Brooks, the author asserts that there was a need for a private preschool solution because the public option was failing. This is untrue. The Cincinnati Public Schools Preschool units, more than 100 of them throughout the District, are ranked by the State of Ohio as 5 Star – the state's highest ranking. Brooks' article states that in Cincinnati "private programs were performing better than the public ones".
That is not true.
Nor was it the premise of the Preschool Promise public and private partnership!
The Preschool Promise public and private partnership was a tax levy by the District with community support and advocacy. The district levy had a portion earmarked for both public and private preschools, a historic effort by the District and community.
The levy was to improve the quality and number of private providers, expand choice available for diverse needs, eliminate preschool deserts, increase the number of both public and private PK seats and raise the compensation for private not public preschool instructors. We are proud of the partnership, the leadership role of the District the played, and the generosity of our taxpayers. Most of all we are proud of the quality ranking attained by our staff, families and children.
Cincinnati Public Schools
Board of Education