Early Education in the News
A bill passed last week by a key House committee would cut state funding for the Head Start program by nearly 25 percent during the next two years. Shortchanging investments in education is not a budget necessity, it is a political choice -- and a bad one.
Kindergarten is the beginning of primary education. Every child has a right to begin well.
Staff members at the Child Care Action Campaign are packing up papers and books, preparing to vacate the premises in a few weeks. Initially, the organization stood as a lone voice, breaking what [President Faith] Wohl calls a "national silence" about the need for more and better day care and early education.
Two new studies make the case that do-or-die exams — which decide whether students graduate, teachers are dismissed or schools are shut in more than half the states in the nation — have brought about at least a modicum of academic progress, especially for minority students who may get scant attention otherwise. The studies appear to push the research pendulum away from critics who have argued that the fixation with make-or-break exams undermines teachers, stifles analytical learning and squeezes out struggling students, all without providing any clear benefits.
Last week in Delaware and across the country, critics charged the plan is tantamount to dismantling Head Start in favor of block grants to the states. But Head Start in Delaware is such a unique creature -- thanks to state dollars, state standards, and follow-up studies on children -- that on Monday federal officials were in Dover talking about making the state a demonstration model.
But several steps must take place before the first lottery ticket can be sold in Tennessee.
Child care prices in Gloucester County, N.J., can cost almost half of the typical household income for a baby and a preschooler in a licensed early education program, a new survey stated. Leonard Masse, a research fellow for the National Institute for Early Education Research, said that the high costs could mean that children in low-income homes might not get access to high-quality educational child care.
One thing that is constant is that the screenings in all districts target preschool-aged children, usually 3 year olds.
Louisiana last year started tracking the performance of pupils divided into subgroups by race or ethnicity, economic status, mastery of English and learning ability. Under a state plan that won federal approval Thursday, schools next year will be responsible for improving the achievement of students in all subgroups or be labeled as failing.
Rising enrollment for pre-kindergarten services is putting more pressure than ever on the state lottery. Georgia lawmakers are beginning to worry the state won't have enough money soon to fully fund Hope and pre-K.
The state requires one adult for every 15 children; the rule would lower that to one for every 13 children.
House sponsors of a bill to repeal the state's share-the-wealth school-finance law will seek to move up the deadline for change to September 2004 – but also will likely allow the system to remain if no alternative is passed by the deadline.
The National Head Start Association, a private, nonprofit group whose members are affiliated with local Head Start programs, said Wednesday that nearly 1 million children could lose some of the program's services in the next several years under the Bush plan. Wade F. Horn, the assistant secretary who oversees the Head Start program in the Department of Health and Human Services, said the association's analysis was misleading and flawed.
Lead levels now widely believed to be safe in children actually produce a severe impact on intellectual development, researchers report today. Blood levels of lead below current federal and international guidelines of 10 micrograms per deciliter produce a surprisingly large drop in IQ of up to 7.4 points, a U.S. team reports in today's New England Journal of Medicine.
"Our best hope for a strong future for these children, and ourselves, is an integrated, comprehensive approach covering health and education and nurturing for all children between birth and five," said David Lawrence, president of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation in Miami.
President Bush has recommended drastic changes to Head Start that would give states more control of the locally administered program. Supporters of the changes, including Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, say it would make Head Start available to more children, but critics say it would diminish services where they are needed most.
Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke presented the latest version of the academic standards, which would replace the contentious Profile of Learning and get Minnesota in compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
A vast majority of Minnesota school districts would receive more state aid than proposed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty under a $11.96 billion omnibus K-12 finance bill presented by House Republicans on Monday.
New Jersey parents are shelling out thousands of dollars for child care and preschool - straining household budgets more than a college education - yet child care salaries are so low that workers couldn't afford to send their own children.
State officials attributed the delay to rigorous building inspection procedures required of early-education facilities that took longer than expected and required additional construction in some cases.