Early Education in the News
But the new state money, along with governor’s vocal support (local advocates say they were thrilled simply to hear him say the words “early childhood education” over and over in public), can be a shift toward wiser, deeper, more sustainable education policy and reform. In fact, the boost for early childhood may be the most business-like thing this business-minded governor has done in education.
Pre-K, which is for 4-year-olds, and kindergarten are not mandatory in Alabama. Parents and guardians have the option of enrolling their children. While kindergarten is available to all who want it, pre-K is not. The demand for pre-K education exceeds what’s available.
The legislation would provide $8 million in matching funds next year to early childhood education programs through school districts, private and parochial schools, private child care centers and Head Start.
The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services have joined in an effort to improve early childhood education programs in the state despite the rejection of the concept in 2011 as part of an unsuccessful federal grant application.
A new body of research shows that the social and emotional skills that children gain, or don't gain, before they enter kindergarten has a profound effect on their life trajectory — academically, economically and socially.
We reviewed the makeup of the committees that wrote and reviewed the Common Core Standards. In all, there were 135 people on those panels. Not a single one of them was a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood professional. It appears that early childhood teachers and child development experts were excluded from the K-3 standards-writing process.
In Ohio, every dollar spent on early childhood yields a 10 percent return on investment every year, said state officials applying for a federal grant in 2011. Upfront costs reduce bigger costs downstream. Put up the effort and money for effective early education, and you narrow the skills and achievement gaps and reduce the need for remediation, retention and dropout programs later. You lower the social and economic costs of high rates of adult illiteracy, joblessness, incarceration and poverty.
Buried in Gov. Mark Dayton $37.9 billion proposed budget is a creative idea to improve the lives of the state’s most educationally vulnerable children: state-funded scholarships for preschoolers from low-income families.
Not all preschool programs are created equal. The state must ensure taxpayer dollars are only going to the best ones. Michigan's Great Start Readiness Program has a solid track record. It began with small, pilot programs in 1985 and has continued to grow.
In the meantime, let's examine the obvious questions about the conditions under which positive early findings are sustained. Nothing else will be a greater detractor from the uneven application of the "inoculation expectation" to the realm of early education and care, and a greater contributor to finding ever more effective ways of narrowing the income-based achievement gap.
After the 2012 legislative session, unresolved questions of funding and governance for Florida’s early-learning programs are shaping up as major issues again this year, with a key change — better collaboration by the once-sparring stakeholders of the billion-dollar industry.
Something is profoundly wrong when we can point to 2-year-olds in this country and make a plausible bet about their long-term outcomes — not based on their brains and capabilities, but on their ZIP codes. But randomized trials and long-term data give us a better sense of what works — and, for the most part, it’s what we’re not doing, like improved education, starting with early childhood programs for low-income families.
The debate over Idaho education reform has covered a variety of topics considered essential for quality education, except early childhood education. This topic has the potential to give every child equal footing when they start school, improve third-grade reading scores, increase graduation rates, and reduce public spending on grade repetition and special education.
Alabama could take the first step this year toward providing free pre-kindergarten education for all the state’s four-year-olds — if legislators can find the money.
Through a concerted effort over the past five years, California is on track to meet a national requirement that 50 percent of Head Start lead classroom teachers hold a bachelor’s degree by the end of September. While only 27 percent of Head Start lead teachers held a bachelor’s degree in the 2007-08 school year, 48 percent now hold one, and an additional 11 percent are enrolled in a baccalaureate program.
The East Baton Rouge school system is scrapping the lottery system it had been using to register children for pre-K classes in favor of a new screening process designed to give children who may not be adequately prepared for kindergarten a better shot at getting into the program for the 2013-2014 school year, school officials said.
[Gov. Brian Sandoval] goes one step further in boosting Nevada’s early childhood education system, proposing $14 million for an “English language learners’ initiative” that would be used to help children in kindergarten through third grade who don’t speak English at home or don’t use English as their preferred language.
According to sources close to the administration, [U.S. Secretary of Education Arne] Duncan and the Department of Health and Human Services are outlining a plan to create universal pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds from low- and some middle-income families -- approximately 1.85 million children. The plan, which is projected to cost as much as $10 billion to implement in full, is still under review by the White House, but sources said that last Tuesday, Linda Smith, an HHS official, discussed the proposal at a meeting of early childhood advocates.
[Michigan Gov. Rick] Snyder noted that 29,000 children are eligible for the state's Great Start Readiness Program, but can't get in because there aren't enough slots due to limited funding. He said he will seek to reduce that number with his fiscal 2014 budget, which would run from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014.
A first-of-its kind study of Georgia pre-kindergarten program is nearly complete, and early reports indicate it shows largely good news about the program that has enrolled about 1.2 million youngsters in 20 years.