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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET FOREWORD That’s not a familiar view of schooling. All adults have been to school and know how it works. They assume that if children are to learn, teachers must teach. Our familiar image of teaching is telling, by the lecture method in a group. And learning there- fore requires listening and practicing—drilling on assigned tasks. Knowledge gets measured by testing on facts and skills. But that’s not how four-year-olds learn. (Eight-year-olds don’t learn that way either, but they’ve mostly learned to sit still and shut their mouths.) If the voting public, including parents, is to support public funding that claims to leave no child behind in the race to the top, then its programs need to appear credible on the surface. However, treating young children as students expected to meet uniform goals contradicts everything we know about development in early childhood. The Knowledge Gap The gap between rich and poor children in America hasn’t nar- rowed, as promised; it has widened. Public funding has back- fired. Preschools funded for the poor are caught in the canned curriculum and testing mania. The preschool experiences of privileged children are more likely to be developmentally appro- priate (building on what all recent research now verifies) than are the preschool experiences of young children who start out behind—and fall further and further behind. Test scores con- tinue to reflect the fact that poor children really are disadvan- taged, deprived in home, in neighborhood, and in preschool of the great variety of activities and choices and adult conversation and encouragement that are built into resource-rich environ- ments. Early intelligence grows through choices and complexity xix COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL