Here's the bad news: Oklahoma is crawling with politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and political activists with a vested interest—political and/or economic—in the expansion of "early childhood education" (i.e., preschool daycare). When it comes to taking four-year-olds away from their mothers and placing them in the care of paid surrogates, Oklahoma has the dubious distinction of being a "national leader."
Now here's the good news: Oklahoma is also a national leader in the good kind of early childhood education—the kind provided by (here's a concept) the child's mother. And today in The Oklahoman, I make the argument that policymakers should work to solidify Oklahoma's status as a national leader in this regard. If they'll do more to help moms—if they'll enact policies which put at-home care on an equal footing with institutionalized care—Oklahoma will someday reach the point where, when someone calls Oklahoma a "national leader in early childhood education," it will be a label we can be proud of.