Kids First: Book summary and reviews of Kids First by David Kirp

Kids First

Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children's Lives and America's Future

by David Kirp

Kids First by David Kirp X
Kids First by David Kirp
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2011
    288 pages
    Genre: Advice

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Book Summary

It may "take a village to raise a child," but most American families are struggling, with diminishing social support, to do the job on their own. While parents work longer hours for less and the costs of childcare, healthcare, and college skyrocket, the share of the U.S. budget spent on kids has fallen 22 percent since 1960. More and more children may well not make it to a healthy, productive adulthood. That's terrible for them--and for us as well.

It doesn't have to be this way. In this book, renowned expert David L. Kirp clarifies the importance of investing wisely in children. He outlines a visionary "Kids First" policy agenda that's guided by a "golden rule" principle: Every child deserves what's good enough for a child you love. And he offers lively and inspiring, on-the-ground accounts of five big cradle-to-college initiatives that can change the arc of all children's lives: strong support for parents; high-quality early education; linking schools and communities to improve what both offer children; giving all youngsters access to a caring and stable adult mentor; and providing kids a nest egg to help pay for college or kick-start a career.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"An important, well-researched wake-up call, and any part of it that educators and lawmakers take into account is worthwhile." - Kirkus

"David Kirp's book could change the policy debate about how to improve the lives of children. It's smart, sharp, and clear about what we need to do to lift the kids who need help the most." - Diane Ravitch, Author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System

"In an era when answers to America's myriad social problems seem dismally remote, David Kirp comes to the rescue with important ideas for giving our kids better lives. Kirp thinks big, writes beautifully, and compels our attention. His agenda is practical and necessary. And if America's children had any political clout, they'd demand it." - Robert B. Reich, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Chancellor's Professor Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

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More Information

David L. Kirp is a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was founding director of the Harvard Center on Law and Education. He recently served on President Obama's transition team. His most recent books are The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics and Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education.

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