Early Education in the News
Utah can be proud that it ranks third nationwide for the well-being of children.
The Republican-supported Head Start bill now moves on to the full Education and the Workforce Committee. Though a hearing has not yet been scheduled, debate over a proposal to give some states Head Start money directly is expected to continue.
Washington is rich with a budding core of prominent brain researchers and several major philanthropists pushing to use that research to improve children's lives.
House Republicans are doing a great disservice to the 900,000 poor and minority children enrolled each year in Head Start, the early childhood development program. While everyone can agree on the merits of raising the quality of Head Start teachers, it is unrealistic for Republicans to require bachelor's degrees of the teachers yet not provide funds to pay for those better-educated workers.
Since 1965, the federal Head Start program has helped preschoolers in poor and at-risk families get an educational leg up. Yet it reaches only about half of the kids it should, according to studies.
Almost half of children entering kindergarten in the United States are unprepared for the journey they are about to begin. Forty-eight percent of these children have moderate to serious cognitive and social problems at kindergarten entry.
The most recent data available from the Louisiana Department of Education indicate the number of northeastern Louisiana children who repeat kindergarten is on the rise. Kindergarten retention rates concern the Northeast Louisiana Children's Coalition, which is conducting a public awareness campaign aimed at informing parents on how to prepare their children for academic success.
As lawmakers debate a proposal to provide state funding for prekindergarten, full-day kindergarten, and small class sizes, a new report provides at least 400,000 reasons why Pennsylvania needs to fund early childhood education — each of them with a name.
The annual Kids Count Data Book, released last week, shows there are at least 400,000 children in this state who are living in poverty or in family circumstances that could deny them a chance to become part of this state's growing economy.
The report, "Strengthening Head Start: What the Evidence Shows," found that the average child entering Head Start has fairly abysmal skills, and is not appreciably better off upon leaving. Some more academically adroit youngsters actually lose ground compared to children their age outside the program.
In reshaping Head Start, House Republicans on an education subcommittee intend to emphasize the mission to prepare children academically for kindergarten, they said, and to improve coordination between preschool and elementary education. The $6.8 billion bill drops plans to transfer Head Start to the Education Department from the Department of Health and Human Services in what was probably the most visible signal of the new academic emphasis.
A House subcommittee yesterday approved a plan that would alter the Head Start preschool program by refocusing its current broad mission on early literacy skills and by giving eight states full control over the federal preschool program. Bush administration officials and House Republicans have said their proposal would allow Head Start to focus more closely on the reading skills needed to prepare low-income preschoolers for the academic rigors of elementary school.
Standardized testing has become an easy target in the wake of legislation such as the No Child Left Behind act of 2001. Regardless of what one thinks of these tests, their results show a disturbing gap between the academic achievement of blacks (to use the state's classification) and Hispanics compared to that of whites and Asians.
The biggest winner appears to be public education.
The research is clear that pre-kindergarten and educational child care programs prevent crime. Investments in pre-kindergarten and educational child care have nearly universal support of law enforcement leaders.
Florida is making headway at improving children's health, education and overall well-being, although most other states are doing better, according to a national study that examines how well America is caring for its young.
The Kids Count report released Tuesday ranked Virginia 14th overall among the states in 10 major indicators of child well-being.
The Kids Count report shows that New Jersey ranks fourth in the nation - behind Minnesota, New Hampshire and Utah - in connection with benchmarks of child well being.
New Mexico continues to rank at the bottom of the state-by-state rankings for child poverty - as it has for the past two years - but it is now tied with Louisiana and Mississippi, according to the Kids Count Data Book 2003 released today.
Facing intense criticism as they work to reshape Head Start, House Republicans today rewrote a provision of the bill that had attracted the most opposition from child welfare advocates. The measure originally opened the way for states to take over the federal program, with what critics contended were insufficient safeguards to ensure that the states did not lower the quality of the programs.
Head Start youngsters still enter kindergarten lagging far behind the typical American child in skills needed to be ready for school, according to a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report. According to "Strengthening Head Start: What the Evidence Shows," the gap between Head Start children and the general population of preschool age children does narrow during the Head Start year on key components of school readiness.