Public education is no longer the great equalizer in the United States. The achievement gap is widening and in many areas education policies are perpetuating the problem. This phenomenon has created an education system built on inequality. The achievement gap in the United States has continued to widen because many children are missing out on the educational, economic, and social benefits of attending a high-quality preschool program. Access to quality preschool is an issue that briefly found its way onto the national agenda in 2013 but has since been edged out by broader national issues, such as healthcare and immigration. However, among states the issue has been gaining momentum and three states, Oklahoma, Florida, and Georgia have created programs that make preschool available to every four-year-old in the state. This project utilizes John Kingdon’s “three stream model”, a theoretical framework for understanding how issues find their way onto the political agenda, to determine if a window of opportunity exists for the policy idea of universal preschool in Massachusetts. The three streams in Kingdon’s model are the problem, the politics, and the policy, and each run independently of the others. However, Kingdon asserts that each of the three streams must converge to form a window of opportunity before the policy can have a chance for action. Using original survey data, elite interviews, and a policy analysis of current preschool programs across the country, I argue that although each of the three streams is flowing in Massachusetts, the political will does not exist for a universal preschool policy to be created.
Melinda Tarsi (Thesis Director)
Kevin P. Donnelly
Copyright and Permissions
Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Atupem, George. (2017). Applying John Kingdon’s Three Stream Model to the Policy Idea of Universal Preschool. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 245. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/245
Copyright © 2017 George Atupem