Early Education in the News
U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawai'i, a committee member, is pushing her bill to improve pre-kindergarten education with a $5 billion grant program targeted to increasing the number of teachers, giving states flexibility to improve curriculum quality and expanding programs serving the youngest children, aged birth to 3.
For 50 years, this simple, private academy — which charges $30 a week per child — has delivered outsized opportunities to at-risk children. The school deserves deep study, from inside Houston's school district and without, to figure out how it succeeds.
Trying to simplify the often bewildering process of enrolling children in prekindergarten and kindergarten classes in New York City and to make it more fair, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein announced Wednesday that he would standardize applications and deadlines citywide.
Despite opponents' claims that it opens the door for mandatory preschool education in South Dakota, legislation that would set rules for voluntary preschool programs is scheduled for consideration Tuesday in the state Senate. The bill, SB26, would let the state Board of Education devise standards for instruction of 3- and 4-year-old children in school districts.
Nine out of every 1,000 preschoolers in the Empire State have been asked to leave their schools - compared to the national rate of 6.7 per 1,000 pupils, according to recent studies. The rate is 19 times higher than that of K-12 students getting tossed from New York schools, a Yale University study found.
Right now, the Virginia Department of Education sets aside money to help make preschool available to almost 19,000 Virginia 4-year-olds eligible for free lunch. Almost one-third of those spots aren't filled, according to Mark Allan, director for elementary instruction at the department.
The South Dakota Department of Education would get the power to regulate and accredit pre-kindergarten schools under a bill a legislative committee approved Thursday. The Senate Education Committee approved Senate Bill 26 by a vote of 6 to 1, but only after long testimony by opponents.
Behavior problems among preschoolers are emerging as a national issue. In several studies released in the past month, researchers at Yale, Rutgers and Cornell universities, among others, are treating preschoolers' conduct as a challenge that calls for changes in school programs and classroom management.
Jack P. Shonkoff, a Harvard pediatrician, was only sort of joking when he referred to 3-year-olds as middle-aged. By then, much of the basic circuitry of a child's brain, a series of connections not yet formed at birth, has already developed.
Preschool teachers who are highly stressed because of classroom conditions, depression or other factors are far more likely than their colleagues to recommend expulsion for children with behavioral problems, according to a study released Thursday.
Among the wishes in the proposed Quality Education Act of 2008, the Mississippi Board of Education wants state lawmakers to spend $20 million on pilot pre-kindergarten programs.
Early childhood experts and parents expressed support yesterday for a measure before the D.C. Council that would extend pre-kindergarten programs to 2,000 more 3- and 4-year-olds in the city. Although researchers and education advocates at the council hearing agreed that pre-K can boost academic achievement in later years, debate centered on what constitutes a high-quality program for D.C. students.
A state task force on early childhood education recommended to legislators yesterday a 10-year plan to establish a statewide early-education system starting with a program for 4-year-old children. It would cost $10.5 million to begin implementing the early-education program next year, but costs are expected to increase exponentially over the next 10 years to a total cost of more than $170 million.
Santa Monica College received a $1.2 million bump in its efforts to attract students into the early childhood education (ECE) field, an industry that experts say has dealt with issues of recruitment and retention due to low pay and the ambiguity in going about pursuing such a career. The grant — awarded by the Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) last month — helps SMC jumpstart its new Early Start Pathway program, which allows high school students interested in an ECE job to start their college education a couple of years early.
In a growing number of classrooms around the country, 4 is the new 5 and preschool the new kindergarten. Hoping for a future payoff of better schools and sharper students, states are aggressively expanding publicly funded programs to the youngest students — 4 or even 3 years old.
Researchers have identified five programs that have been successful in reducing dropouts, including early childhood programs, a class size reduction initiative, a school reform project based on small learning communities, and a teacher salary increase project. The most successful intervention was the Perry Preschool Program in Michigan, a pre-K program that produced an extra 19 graduates for every 100 students.
Early childhood education is proving its worth in the Harrisburg School District. A five-year study by Penn State's Prevention Research Center has found marked academic progress among kindergartners and first graders who attended preschool over those who did not.
President Bush yesterday signed into law a five-year renewal of Head Start, the federal preschool program for poor children. The latest update to Head Start, which began in 1965, aims to open the program to more children and ensure that teachers are better qualified.
More Florida kindergartners started school ready for academic lessons this year than in the past, according to the state's annual readiness screening. The current kindergarten class did better on two early-literacy tests, and teachers judged these students more ready for formal schooling than their peers in past years, the results released Wednesday showed.
D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray wants 2,000 more children to be enrolled in pre-kindergarten classes over the next six years and wants their teachers to be more educated as part of a $50 million plan that follows a national trend to get students into the classroom earlier. Gray (D) will introduce legislation today that would give priority for pre-kindergarten classes to 3- and 4-year-old children from low-income households and those who are disabled.