Early Education in the News
When asked his opinion of a DPS proposal to use federal Title I dollars for early childhood education diagnostics, [U.S. Education Secretary Arne] Duncan said he wanted more of those funds spent on early childhood education and added that DPS is a district "where the education provided to those children has been devastatingly bad for far too long."
Twenty years from now, children who are in pre-K will be a part of the work force. They will among the citizens who pay taxes and contribute to Tennessee's economic success. And, they will owe at least a part of any personal successes they do achieve to the good academic start they received as 4-year-olds.
Understanding another's intent is an important skill for lawyers, and perhaps politicians and businessmen as well, but according to a new study, it is an ability that even toddlers have. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany report that children as young as 3 are less likely to help a person after they have seen them harm someone else — in this case adult actors tearing up or breaking another adult's drawing or clay bird.
School districts are being told they should expect to get an estimated $3 billion to $5 billion less in the next two-year budget as lawmakers begin wrestling with a $24 billion revenue shortfall in January. That could mean less money for prekindergarten classes, teacher incentive grants and tutoring for students struggling to pass the state's standardized tests.
As schools confront cuts in curriculum and state aid, a few have managed to retain their prekindergarten programs — an early childhood experience that educators say is vital to a child's acclimation to the classroom environment. In several districts in Bergen and Passaic counties where prekindergarten was offered last year, the programs have been kept either through downsizing, eliminating other programs or requiring parents to pay for classes.
In Illinois, Latino children were half as likely to enroll in preschool as white and African-American students, a disparity that threatens to widen the academic divide between them, according to a new report out Tuesday. About 35 percent of Latino 4-year-olds attended some type of preschool, while 66 percent of white children and 54 percent of African-American children enrolled, the findings show.
Parents who use number words while speaking to their young children – even if the children don't seem to grasp their meanings at first – are giving them a considerable head start in learning math, new research suggests. For example, children whose parents talked more about numbers were much more likely to understand the cardinal number principle – which states that the size of a set of objects is determined by the last number reached when counting the set.
Fresh from our statewide Milk Party tour, and endorsed by all of the state's 10 largest daily newspapers, including the Sun Sentinel, The Children's Movement of Florida now is entering the next phase of its work — legislative action that moves toward making children our state's No. 1 priority. We believe, in the words of our mission statement, that "the well-being and education of our children in Florida must be the highest priority of government, business, non-profit institutions and families…including in the way we invest our public resources."
Oklahoma Champions for Early Opportunity has enlisted more than 30 business and community leaders throughout the state to spend a year pushing to better prepare infants and toddlers for school.
Success by 6 gave $20,200 to a pilot school-readiness program last year called the Family Child Care Language and Literacy Project. The specialists modeled ways that care providers can work with children; they offered tips for reading to infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers; they encouraged providers to set up dramatic play areas where they can engage children in conversation; and they demonstrated ways to build youngsters' comprehension skills and vocabulary.
Start with the very youngest children. That's the suggestion of a new report about how to close Connecticut's biggest-in-the-nation educational achievement gap between middle-class and low-income students, most of whom are Black or Latino.
At a time when competition for jobs is at an all-time high, it is crucial for our schools to begin teaching the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, as early as possible. Pre-K would be a great place to start. However, that can't happen without providing STEM training and support to our teachers.
A university study of New Mexico's pre-kindergarten program says the initiative has helped children improve their math, vocabulary and early literacy skills. The National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University conducted the study and sampled more than 1,300 children in the 2008-2009 school year.
A board member questioned Bartlesville Public School District's decision to allow their pre-kindergarten class sizes to increase over the state limit of 20 students in a class.
Learning and physical disabilities, lack of social skills - there are many reasons kids fall behind in school. An innovative Arizona City preschool exposes children who are developing at different rates to a classroom setting and one another before they even start kindergarten.
Early life experiences are built into our brains and bodies. Lots of negative stress for a baby can show up later as poor school performance, high blood pressure, risky behavior.
The emphasis on getting more students to graduate from high school and to be smarter when they do is taking a new tack. Experts now look to the beginnings of formal learning – pre-kindergarten – as a way to turbocharge learning from kindergarten to diploma.
The research is clear: Poverty is the single greatest threat to children's well-being. Lacking economic security, safe, affordable housing, health care, nutrition and quality education - especially during the early years, when 85 percent of brain development occurs - can hamper children's ability to flourish.
Young children, who bond quickly with their teacher and who make friends with other children trying to adapt to the new world of school, get ripped from familiar surroundings with little understanding of why. In a new school, they must learn anew the routines of a different classroom, find new friends in a place where pecking orders have been well established and adjust to the tolerances and guidance of a new teacher when their original teacher – their "real" teacher – is back at their last school, or the one before that.
More at Four, the state's preschool program for disadvantaged children, helps close the school achievement gap between poor and middle class students, according to research studies. A report on the program's results was presented to the State Board of Education on Thursday, a few months before legislators begin to search in earnest for ways to pull out of a $3.5 billion budget hole projected for next year.