Volume 10, Issue 24

August 24, 2011

Hot Topics

Starting Monday, August 29, you will find most of us in a renovated two-story 1909 house at 73 Easton Avenue and the rest of us right next door in McKinney Hall, which is at the corner of Easton and Hamilton.

NIEER's new address will be:
National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER)
73 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1801

NIEER's new main phone number will be 848-932-4350.
We may have brief interruptions of our phone service on Friday, August 26, so the best way to reach us that day is by email. Our fax number and web and email addresses are staying the same.

In case you missed it, video of Monday's panel discussion on early childhood education reform at The Brookings Institution is available at C-SPAN. The event, moderated by Brookings' Ron Haskins, featured NIEER Director Steve Barnett and Yvette Sanchez Fuentes of the Administration for Children and Families as well as panelists Dr. Jerlean Daniel of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Dr. Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago, and Yasmina Vinci of the National Head Start Association.
On Tuesday, the final application for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) funds was released by the Obama administration. With the stated goal of preparing "more children with high needs for kindergarten," the RTT-ELC will focus on building on states' existing strengths, developing common outcome standards and a tiered quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), supporting the early childhood workforce (with professional development, appropriate compensation, etc.), and measuring outcomes and progress.

New on Preschool Matters...Today!

NIEER Director Steve Barnett, whose article "Effectiveness of Early Education Intervention" appears in the August 19 issue of the journal Science, offers recommendations for improving Head Start and Early Head Start in his recent blog post.
Former NIEER Co-Director Ellen Frede writes about her transition to Acelero Learning, a for-profit Head Start provider.
Early learning takes center stage in the latest issue of Principal magazine, including an article written by NIEER's co-directors.

Calendar

October 8, 2011 - October 11, 2011
Nashville, TN – The theme for this year's National Black Child Development Institute conference is "Essential for the Journey of Our Children: Keep the Cultural Fire Burning."
November 2, 2011 - November 5, 2011
Orlando, FL – Join early childhood education professionals, administrators, and advocates for the annual National Association for the Education of Young Children conference.
November 18, 2011 - November 19, 2011
Melbourne, Australia – The theme for this conference is "Honoring the Child, Honoring Equity 11: Inspiring change(s): insights, challenges, hopes and actions."
December 9, 2011 - December 11, 2011
Washington, DC - Zero to Three's annual conference provides professionals with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge about early childhood development through interactive sessions and networking opportunities with colleagues and leaders in the field.

Early Education News Roundup

August 24, 2011
Tulsa World
Despite Oklahoma's national reputation on early childhood education, top state officials made it clear Tuesday that entering the Obama administration's latest Race to the Top competition would not be a slam-dunk decision.
August 23, 2011
Christian Science Monitor
Now, with the new guidelines for the competition, called the Early Learning Challenge, it is clear that the administration wants states to develop a public rating and improvement system for early-childhood programs.
August 23, 2011
The Miami Herald
The board's proposal also includes $40 million in new money for more reading coaches and $4.2 million to begin accountability testing of children in the state's Voluntary Prekindergarten Program at a cost of $25 each to determine if they are ready for school. The board also agreed to add $8.7 million to this year's request to implement state-approved curricula in the prekindergarten program.
August 21, 2011
Omaha World-Herald
Enrollment in Nebraska and Iowa public-school preschools has jumped sharply over the past decade, driven up by extra money state lawmakers earmarked to fund preschools under the belief that getting kids into school earlier will raise achievement in the long run.
August 20, 2011
The Beacon-News, Aurora, IL
Last school year, 19 percent of 3-year-olds in Illinois were enrolled in formal schooling in Illinois, more than in any other state, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. Likewise, school districts around the Fox Valley are expanding their preschool programs and making the day longer for kindergartners to get students ready to learn.
August 19, 2011
The Daily Advertiser, Lafayette, LA
It will require a substantial and costly expansion of pre-K classes, and it will take time to take hold. Yet if there's one thing we can do that promises to raise the academic achievement of students and close the achievement gap between students from low-income homes and their most affluent classmates, it's expanded pre-K education.
August 18, 2011
Education Week
The proposed assessment requirements for the new Race to the Top early-learning competition are sparking concerns from some preschool advocates, who fear the provisions could lead to high-stakes testing of young children and unfair accountability measures imposed on educators.
August 17, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Educators who support full-day kindergarten say the extra time leads to increased school readiness and higher academic achievement for students, while supporting the social and emotional development of a child. The National Institute for Early Education Research says that children in full-day kindergarten tend to score better on standardized achievement tests.
August 16, 2011
Education News Colorado
The Colorado Preschool Program is underfunded, sets low qualifications for teachers and doesn't reach enough children, Rutgers University Professor Steven Barnett testified during the Lobato v. State school funding trial Tuesday.

Resources

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual report ranks states on 10 measures of children's well-being, this year revealing the negative effects of the economic decline on children and families.