This brief makes the case that a more reasoned, realistic approach to school reform — one that builds a solid foundation for learning by providing coordinated, enhanced learning opportunities every year from PreK (for three- and four-year-olds) through 3rd Grade (PreK-3rd) — offers the best chance for raising achievement. This paper challenges three pervasive myths about early and elementary education:
Myth 1: Elementary schools are doing just fine; problems begin later.
Myth 2: Good PreK programs guarantee later success.
Myth 3: Solving the “Fourth-Grade slump” will reverse today’s widespread pattern of underachievement.