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THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2007
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State pre-k gets perfect score

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Alabama was one of two states that received perfect marks for its pre-kindergarten program in ratings released Wednesday by a national early education group.

The state shared the number one spot with North Carolina — both states scoring a perfect 10 — in the National Institute for Early Education Research's yearly report, "State of Pre-school: 2006 State Preschool Yearbook."

The report compares state quality standards against a research-based checklist of 10 quality benchmarks.

"Last year, Alabama was among the states that received a rating of nine in NIEER's 2005 yearbook," said Trellis Smith, director of the Alabama Office of School Readiness.

"We were proud of that score, yet Alabama's children deserve the best and we made it our mission to build the highest quality pre-k program."

The Office of School Read-iness offers pre-k to 1,080 4-year-olds in 57 counties throughout the state in public schools and provides private child care centers for little or no cost to parents.

"Alabama administrators and teachers deserve recognition for giving our children the gift of a quality pre-k education," Smith said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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