We desperately need a parallel approach to address our most urgent educational issues: 1) Early childhood education, and 2) Post high school education (university and trade schools) that are more in line with needs in the marketplace.
“The highest rate of return in early childhood development comes from investing as early as possible, from birth through age five, in disadvantaged families. Starting at age three or four is too little too late, as it fails to recognize that skills beget skills in a complementary and dynamic way. Efforts should focus on the first years for the greatest efficiency and effectiveness. The best investment is in quality early childhood development from birth to five for disadvantaged children and their families.”—James J. Heckman, December 7, 2012
The next Mayor has to look at investing in early childhood education like an investment that will yield benefits that will forever impact El Paso. The proof is there on the Return of Investment (ROI). These are our future leaders and the ones that will care for our issues as we age.
While we are debating the millions of dollars on controversial large scale projects, those resources could go towards ensuring El Paso’s future through education. Other cities have already made this investment and the research behind the impact is clear.
At the same time, we need to work with our academic institutions to ensure that we are providing El Pasoasns with access to areas of studies that will yield jobs today and in twenty years. I cover some of this in my stance on healthcare, but to explain further, working with the educational institutions to develop programs and incentives with industry that will get our students employed after graduation. We need a leader that can see these needs and bring education and industry together to solve these problems for our future. It’s time to think about El Paso’s legacy, and we begin by working towards educating our youngest citizens.