Volume 9, Issue 9

May 4, 2010

Hot Topics

NIEER co-director Steve Barnett released findings of The State of Preschool 2009 at a press conference today at the AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Barnett said this year's yearbook data show that, nationally speaking, the recession is affecting states' ability to continue the trend toward expanding pre-K that has predominated in recent years. "The immediate future of pre-K seems much more perilous than past trends might suggest," he said, pointing out that some states have cut pre-K enrollment to levels not seen in years and that so far, 11 states are considering pre-K cuts for 2011.

Barnett outlined the difficult choices middle-income families, who have the least access to public pre-K, are facing in providing for their young children. He reminded President Obama of his campaign promise to guarantee access to quality, affordable early childhood education for every child in America and called on him to create an Early Education Fund designed to help states provide more services. Investing $1 billion in the fund would, by Barnett's calculations, enable states providing matching funds to serve an additional 500,000 children.

Joining him at the podium were Marci Young, a project director for the Pew Center on the States, and Julia B. Isaacs, The Child and Family Policy Fellow at the Brookings Institution. The new edition of the yearbook, the news release, and parent videos are available on the NIEER web site. Barnett wonders about the future of state pre-K in our Preschool Matters…Today! blog post.

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June 6, 2010 - June 9, 2010
Phoenix, AZ – The theme for this year's conference is "Emotional Intelligence: A 21st Century Skill for Children and Adults."
June 8, 2010 - June 9, 2010
Perthshire, Scotland – This conference will feature leaders in outdoor experiences who will share their thinking about the conference theme "A Child's Right to be Heard."
June 14, 2010 - June 16, 2010
Lake Geneva, WI – This conference is targeted for professionals who work with children from birth through age 5.
June 22, 2010 - June 24, 2010
Orlando, FL – This professional development event covers four approaches to better teaching and learning.
June 29, 2010 - July 1, 2010
New Brunswick, NJ – The Rutgers University Institute for Improving Student Achievement's Summer Institute 2010 will begin a series of professional development sessions based on McREL's research on the effects of leadership on student achievement.
July 11, 2010 - July 14, 2010
Columbus, OH – The conference aims to guide participants towards the development of innovative strategies integrating early learning in elementary schools.
July 11, 2010 - July 14, 2010
Riga, Latvia – This conference will discuss research, evidence-based practices, and innovations in special education and inclusive services.
July 15, 2010 - July 17, 2010
Nashville, TN – Topics addressed at this conference for family child care providers include child-based curriculum, policies, and quality improvement.
July 27, 2010 - July 29, 2010
Atlanta, GA – At this conference, participants will learn about the Piramide Method of Early Learning as a framework for early care and learning.

Early Education News Roundup

May 4, 2010
Education Week
Early-education programs are struggling to serve all the children who qualify for them, as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression has caused states to slash budgets and reduce spending, according to an annual survey of state-funded programs by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.
May 2, 2010
San Jose Mercury News
As a group, California's kindergartners are among the youngest in the nation, but that may change under a bill being considered in the state Legislature. The legislation by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, would require children to have turned 5 by Sept. 1 to begin kindergarten in that school year.
April 29, 2010
The Tennessean
A Republican alternative plan to close Tennessee's budget gap won't include changes to the state's pre-kindergarten program, state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said.
April 29, 2010
News Tribune, Jefferson City, MO
Changes to the popular Parents as Teachers program have been spurred by Missouri's budget troubles. The operating budget approved by lawmakers for the budget year starting July 1 cut more than $13 million from the early childhood education program.
April 29, 2010
The Seattle Times
New research from the business-leader group, America's Edge, shows that investments in quality early learning are among the most effective ways to infuse billions of dollars into local and state economies, while creating tens of thousands of jobs and building a foundation for sustained economic security.
April 28, 2010
USA Today
Experts talk too often about poorly performing middle or high schools and dismiss elementary and preschool time as the "cute" years. But these are the years we should focus on.