Statement by Patricia Harrison, President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, on Inclusion of Ready To Learn in the Every Student Succeeds Act

Dec 11, 2015

Washington, D.C. (December 11, 2015) – Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) made the following statement regarding the inclusion of Ready To Learn in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act:

"I congratulate Congress and the White House on their dedication in ensuring that young learners have every opportunity to succeed in school and in life. ESSA builds upon a 20-year track record of success where every child in this country will continue to have access to high-quality, educational content free of charge through the Department of Education’s Ready To Learn program.

Ready To Learn is an innovative public media initiative that improves the math and literacy skills of our nation’s youngest learners, ages 2-8 years, especially those who come from low-income backgrounds. This work is carried out both nationally and locally in collaboration with leading children’s producers, educational technologists, researchers, local public television stations and community partners.  Each plays an essential role in creating, evaluating and distributing high-quality content that helps to bridge the achievement gap both inside and outside the classroom.

The positive impact of Ready To Learn content and resources on the skills of young children from low-income families has been proven in over eighty studies. Time and again we see the program’s critical function in increasing the learning potential of preschool and elementary school children.

I also applaud Congress for recognizing the importance of graduation rates. Through the American Graduate initiative, public media has focused attention on and engaged communities to help students stay on track for high school graduation. Public media looks forward to continuing this important role as the nation progresses in its trajectory toward the national goal of 90% graduation by 2020.” 

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.