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On the Road to 'Pre-K for All': The Launch of UPK in New York City

31 Pages Posted: 27 May 2015 Last revised: 30 May 2015

Susan P. Crawford

Harvard University - Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Mary-Catherine Lader

Harvard Law School

Maria Smith

Harvard University - Harvard College

Date Written: May 24, 2015

Abstract

Over the spring and summer of 2014, New York City put in place a full-day universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) program. The blistering pace, enormous scale, and administrative complexity of this rollout were all striking: a program that did not exist when funding for it was finalized in March 2014 had put 53,250 four-year-olds in more than 1700 new full-day programs by the first day of school in September. This report provides a detailed account of the launch. It includes an extensive discussion of the city’s use of data science techniques; the city was able to combine and analyze databases in such a way that outreach teams could contact households that were likely to include four-year-olds and help interest parents sign up, all with a sharp eye for the privacy of New Yorkers. The launch as a whole combined the energy of a micro-targeted political campaign with service-oriented, street-level energy, and the lessons New York City learned in the course of this work should be useful to other cities and states.

Suggested Citation

Crawford, Susan P. and Lader, Mary-Catherine and Smith, Maria, On the Road to 'Pre-K for All': The Launch of UPK in New York City (May 24, 2015). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2015-9. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2610694 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2610694

Susan P. Crawford (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Berkman Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Mary-Catherine Lader

Harvard Law School ( email )

1557 Massachusetts Ave
6 Ever
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Maria Smith

Harvard University - Harvard College ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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