Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Beth Minor

Second Advisor

Dr. Linell Monson


The urgency to close the achievement gap means it is our moral imperative to provide all children with the opportunities necessary to succeed as early as possible. Knowing the critical timing of a child’s brain development from birth to age five, we cannot afford to wait until a child is six or seven years old to begin developing their academic and social emotional capacity. This policy advocacy document supports a statewide mandate for children to attend kindergarten at age five throughout the state of Illinois. With little need for increased resources to accommodate the mandate, the social, moral and ethical benefits of providing education at an early age have lifelong benefits for children with access.