MS Ranks Among Top in Nation in Early Education Enrollment
The report gave Mississippi a B ranking in early childhood education. The grade was influenced by the number of students attending pre-k programs. The report gave high marks if poorer children were as likely to attend as richer children. That could be attributed to the state’s federally funded Head Start program, which enrolls 73% of eligible children in poverty, more than double that national average.
Cynthia Minton-Walker, PreK4Ward Director, says, “Well, you know, the B ranking probably recommends to us that we have done a lot of work, but it also means that we have to delve into what does that mean really? What are the statistics that they’re looking at and what are the implications of those statistics?”
Minton-Walker says the ranking is solely based on the number of children enrolled in these programs, not the quality of education these children are receiving. She says as a state, we need to evaluate ourselves and see how we can improve in making our children kindergarten ready.