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A Think Twice Review of:

When Degree Programs for Pre-K Teachers Go Online: Challenges and Opportunities

Think Twice - Jan 18, 2018

Publisher/Think Tank - New America

Author(s) - Shayna Cook

A recent report from New America sought to explore the impact of online degree programs for early childhood (EC) educators. The report argued that online degree programs had the potential to professionalize pre-K teachers. The report claimed that flexible online bachelor’s programs could facilitate degree completion, increase the overall quality of EC educators, and raise salaries for pre-K teachers.

Reviewer(s) - Beth Graue and Erica Ramberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison

A review of the report finds that it fails to recognize the economic realities that many pre-K teachers face across the U.S. and is of limited use for policymakers. In the review, Graue and Ramberg note that the report draws important attention to EC workforce policy, but it underplays a number of critical issues facing the field. In particular, the reviewers find: it presents testimonials instead of outcomes for online programs; and it makes pre-K teachers responsible for closing the pay gap and upgrading their low professional esteem.