A way to give back

The University is partnering with Minneapolis Public Schools to offer high-quality early childhood education.

Daily Editorial Board

University of Minnesota researchers will work with the city to improve early childhood education in Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minnesota Daily reported earlier this month. According to MPS Chief Financial Officer Robert Doty, the achievement gap and low graduation rates are issues the city hopes to solve with this partnership.

After fundraising, the city will build childhood education centers first in north Minneapolis. University research will provide the general framework of the centers while MPS will provide the leadership and staff.

The concept of early childhood education enjoyed a short stint of national dialogue earlier this year after President Barack Obama touted the benefits of universal preschool in his State of the Union address. “If you’re looking for a good bang for your educational buck, this is it right here,” he said. Indeed, according to a study done by the National Institutes of Health, early childhood education can actually save taxpayers money in the long run because children are less likely to be held back in school, be arrested or get involved with drugs later in life. 

Following the State of the Union, the Minnesota Daily Editorial Board supported making high-quality preschool available to every child in the nation. While Congress could certainly provide a boost to this initiative, local partnerships may prove to be the best model for delivering quality preschool education.

Offering research is great way for the University to give back to the local community. The University and MPS should continue their partnership until the city’s serious education problems are solved.