The First Decade: Politics & Policy

DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

The rhetoric is flying among presidential hopefuls: wealth inequality, working men and women, stagnant wages, the opportunity gap, earned success. But though is everyone is talking about this, division remains wide over the causes and solutions.  We’ll look at the language and the politics behind it.

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All week long, we've has been looking at how disparities in early childhood can shape a child’s chances for later in life.

Issues surrounding what some call the opportunity gap and others call inequality of opportunity, are common concerns of politicians in both parties these days, starting at the very top.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As part of our series, "The First Decade," Gov. Maggie Hassan sat down with NHPR's Morning Edition host Rick Ganley to talk about what role she sees state government playing in helping to close the opportunity gap.

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Research shows students who attend preschool are more likely to have stability and success as they go through school and through life, yet New Hampshire is behind the national curve when it comes to investing in these programs.

The National Institute for Early Education Research has released its annual report, The State of Preschool, which profiles state-funded programs and tracks national trends around preschool quality and access.

The First Decade: Early Education in N.H.

May 20, 2015
Jason Moon / NHPR

We continue our series The First Decade with early education.  Research shows that a child’s foundation for success in school is established at a very young age, through high-quality care at home or at pre-school - and in New Hampshire, moving from half to full-day kindergarten.  Yet, some also caution that how we teach our youngest kids is just as important as where.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Kindergarten is a year of transition. Kids are learning how to listen, follow directions, sit still... but while they are making that transition, there’s a lot of mandatory wiggling.

In Mr. Woody’s morning kindergarten class, in Plainfield, a class of students blows off some steam while doing a “wiggle dance.” A stereo plays a children’s song that Mr. Woody sings along to, and the kids giggle and flail.

For some time now, agreement has seemed near-universal that there is a growing chasm between those with great wealth in this country and the rest of the population. That recognition has even bridged our otherwise entrenched political divide, with both Republicans and Democrats tackling the problem, especially on the campaign trail. But despite the recent urgency, there are differences.