Volume 8, Issue 17

July 17, 2009

Hot Topics

The latest findings from NIEER's long-term study of the Abbott Preschool Program show that children who attended the program continue to outperform their peers in first and second grade. For language and math, the effects of two years of state pre-K were enough to move a child from the 50th to the 67th percentile. By second grade, the effect of two years of the Abbott program on grade retention was statistically significant. New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, who joined NIEER co-director Steve Barnett in announcing the findings, said "New Jersey has a high quality program and it's expensive…but failure is a lot more expensive."
California Congressman George Miller introduced a bill in the House this week that would provide $1 billion a year for 10 years to create an Early Learning Challenge Fund to help states develop systems for improving the quality of early learning settings for children from birth to 5. Miller, who worked with the Obama administration in crafting the measure, says it will be funded by a portion of the money saved by reforming subsidized loans to college students. A summary is available online.
The decline in state tax collections in early 2009 was the sharpest on record, says a report released today by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. In the first three months of the year, state tax revenues dropped nearly 12 percent, the worst quarterly drop on record. Western states fared the worst. In contrast, local tax collections grew 3.9 percent in the first quarter, driven primarily by property tax collections.
A new report from Pre-K Now provides a round-up of what governors have proposed in regard to early education in this most challenging of years. This latest installment in Pre-K Now's Leadership Matters series shows that for FY 2010, 14 governors are proposing increases, 13 are proposing to flat fund pre-K and five are proposing cuts.
A study appearing in the July 2009 issue of Pediatrics finds that two-sided conversations between adults and children are robustly associated with healthy language development in children. Television viewing, which can have a negative effect on children's development, was found to be mediated by the presence of adult-child conversations. The authors say their findings indicate that merely providing language input to children through reading and storytelling is not enough unless it includes two-sided conversations.

Calendar

July 20, 2009 - July 25, 2009
Cork, Ireland – The theme for the IFDCO’s Conference is "Celebrating Quality Family Childcare."
July 22, 2009 - July 23, 2009
New Brunswick, NJ – This professional development opportunity focuses on leaders, such as principals, supervisors, coaches, and child care and Head Start center directors, and their role in ensuring quality instruction in preschool to third grade classes.
July 28, 2009 - July 29, 2009
Washington, DC – The theme for the Child Care Bureau's (CCB) 2009 State and Territory Child Care Administrators Meeting is "New Opportunities and Possibilities for Child Care Leadership."

Early Education News Roundup

July 17, 2009
Press of Atlantic City
The study found that Abbott students who attended preschool entered kindergarten significantly ahead of students who did not attend preschool. The advantages were most obvious in vocabulary, basic literacy skills and math, and the advantage lasted through second grade.
July 17, 2009
The Honolulu Advertiser
Licensed, for-profit preschools and infant/toddler day care centers will receive property tax exemptions from the city under a bill passed Wednesday by the City Council. Supporters of the bill call it a matter of fairness, pointing out that K-12 schools already are exempt from property tax, other than a $100 minimum tax.
July 16, 2009
The Tennessean
Tennessee's Voluntary Pre-K program is designed to teach children about their world, to understand relationships between other children and adults outside the family circle, to learn how to work together, solve problems and be successful, productive citizens.
July 16, 2009
Gwinnett Daily Post, Lawrenceville, GA
This fall, Georgia's Pre-K Program will become the first in the nation to serve its millionth child, Georgia first lady Mary Perdue said Wednesday.
July 15, 2009
WDIV TV, Detroit, MI
Besides Pell Grants, $10 billion of the estimated $87 billion in savings from eliminating subsidies would go toward early childhood education, increasing the number of poor children with access to pre-kindergarten, among other things.
July 13, 2009
Springfield News-Leader, Springfield, MO
Quite simply, school officials and others say, the need for preschool services is far greater than the resources available.
July 13, 2009
The Jersey Journal
The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects study found that children who participated in the Abbott preschool education program outperformed their peers in the first and second grades.
July 13, 2009
The Early Ed Watch blog (New America Foundation)
But West Virginia -- like Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois and New York -- is also committed to building towards a voluntary, universal pre-k program for four-year olds.
July 12, 2009
Naples Daily News, Naples, FL
With one of the highest access rates in the nation for 4-year-olds, Florida's program has been held up as a nationwide model, but with one of the lowest rates of per-child spending, experts say it has a long way to go.
July 12, 2009
The New York Times
Policy should instead be built on two undisputed foundations: only students who can read well can be educated well, and reading is a skill learned early, by third or fourth grade.

Resources

This report from the World Forum Foundation's 2008 Working Forum for Teacher Educators discusses the role of distance education in delivering education for teachers. Authors Selena Fox and Chip Donohue share perspectives instructors should consider when launching a distance education program.
This policy brief from Children Now looks at the various aspects of using kindergarten readiness observation tools and the benefits of doing so for local and state education stakeholders. It draws on data from counties in California that have kindergarten readiness observation projects. The projects have enabled the counties to monitor their success in prepring children for school. The brief also looks at the ramifications of building the local endeavors into a statewide system.
This report from Chicago-based POWER-PAC looks at why preschool attendance lags among children who are at most risk. Drawing on more than 5,000 interviews in low-income neighborhoods, it provides recommendations on how to increase enrollment.