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Recent early education news and updates

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Budgeting for the Next Generation: Does the Budget Process Prioritize Children?

August 17, 2018

Compared to other age groups, children have higher levels of poverty, less ability to provide for themselves, and greater potential to support future growth. Despite children making up one-quarter of the population, less than one-tenth of the federal budget is  spent  on children. By comparison, we estimate that 60 percent of the budget is spent on…

Is There a 30-Million Word Gap? The Continued Importance of Child-Directed Conversation

August 17, 2018

In 1995, researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley’s book,  Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children , raised the issue of the “ 30-million word gap .” The word gap was their extrapolation, based on their 2 ½ year experience of recording and analyzing conversations that children either had with or heard from their caregivers between the ages of 7 months and 3 years, that…

Full-day kindergarten is great for kids, so why isn’t it required?

August 16, 2018

NASHUA, N.H. — “Fact or opinion?” teacher Patricia Lemoine asked her kindergartners on a blustery April morning: “Ms. Lemoine has a rug in her classroom.” “Fact!” shouted her 5- and 6-year-old students, who sat on the rug in question. Whether or not it’s the best rug in the whole school, they ceded, was a matter…

Former U.S. Education Secretary: ‘We’re top 10 in nothing’

August 16, 2018
Aarthi Swaminathan

Former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has strong opinions about how to fix the U.S. school system, and he’s skeptical that the current administration will deliver on key initiatives. Duncan, who served in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2015 and just published a new book, says the country needs to improve access to early childhood…

Pre-K Delay

August 16, 2018
Marilyn Hawkes

Peoria mom Kim Davis enrolled her kids in preschool so they could “learn how to go to school,” i.e. socialize, share and sit still. “If they come out of preschool not knowing their numbers and letters… we don’t really stress about it too much, because they’ll get it when they’re ready.” Children develop at different…

Bad Teaching for Preschoolers? There Are Lots of Apps for That

August 16, 2018
Benjamin Herold

Although educational apps for preschoolers abound, many don’t include sound teaching strategies. That’s the takeaway from a new study published today in the academic journal Learning, Media and Technology. “From our review of a small portion of this market, it does not appear that popular literacy and math apps for preschoolers are employing many of…

A Kindergarten preview helps families hit the ground running

August 15, 2018
Lisa Stark

For three weeks in the summer, children who are entering kindergarten in Portland, Oregon, get ready and get excited to start school. While it’s no substitute for pre-K, getting a preview helps ease the transition for kids, and offers parents a sense of connection. Special correspondent Lisa Stark of Education Week reports.

Outcomes for children of migrant workers have improved

August 15, 2018
Ameilia Harper

Dive Brief: In an article and podcast,  The Hechinger Report  delves into the ways that migrant education has changed across the last 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which included the Migrant Education Program (MEP). The program allocates federal dollars to school districts that work with and serve…

Three out of four Illinois kids aren’t ready for kindergarten. Why that’s a problem.

August 15, 2018
Cassie Walker Burke

Three out of four Illinois children starting kindergarten aren’t prepared.  That’s according to data released Monday  by the Illinois State Board of Education in conjunction with a power list of early childhood advocates who’ve spent nearly a decade lobbying for a baseline assessment. Only 16 percent of low-income students, measured by those who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, demonstrated readiness…

How this Chicago after-school program helped shift the arc of kids’ lives — for the long term

August 14, 2018
Valerie Strauss

You Can’t Be What You Can’t See ” is a new book by Milbrey W. McLaughlin that looks at the long-term effects of an after-school academic program in Chicago’s notorious Cabrini-Green public housing project, a violence-wracked complex that was located on the Near North Side of Chicago and was once home to some 15,000 people. In this post, David L. Kirp,…