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Recent early education news and updates

In the News

Is School-Discipline Reform Moving Too Fast?

January 11, 2018
Wayne D'Orio

One of the more radical transformations in public education today begins with a simple greeting each morning among second-graders. “Good morning, Mahlet,” says one student to another at McMicken Heights Elementary School in SeaTac, Washington. “Good morning, Liliana,” the second student responds. The exercise continues briskly until all 23 students seated in a circle have…

Poll Finds Widespread Support for State-Funded Pre-K

January 11, 2018
Kevin Richert

A supermajority of Idahoans says the state should put money into pre-kindergarten programs, according to new statewide polling data. Seventy-six percent of voters and 80 percent of parents of children 5 and younger support state-funding for pre-K, according to the poll unveiled Wednesday by the Association for the Education of Young Children, an early education…

Time for kindergarten—are kids ready or not?

January 11, 2018

Scientific research has taught us that key brain functions are developed in the first years of a child’s life, and that healthy brain stimulation during that period goes a long way in determining the quality of the life that child will lead. The environment a child is born into, depending largely but not entirely on…

Report: Coaching is a promising PD strategy for early educators

January 10, 2018
Linda Jacobson

Dive Brief: As school leaders plan professional learning for their teachers,  a new report  provides guidance on effective coaching models for teachers working with young children. “Primetime for Coaching: Improving Instructional Coaching in Early Childhood Education,” from Bellwether Education Partners, recommends that administrators choose coaching strategies that fit into an overall professional development approach, consider cost-effective options, such…

Why St. Paul Public Schools wants its preschoolers to stay all day

January 10, 2018
Josh Verges

St. Paul Public Schools is offering more free, full-day classes for 4-year-olds in hopes they’ll stick around for kindergarten. The district’s voluntary preschool program has room for 504 full-day students this year, up from 264 the year before. They’ve pared the number of half-day seats by 160, to 1,479. Lori Erickson, assistant director of early…

Bill Dodd floats universal pre-school bill for CA

January 10, 2018
Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

A bill designed to provide preschool to all 4-year-olds statewide was introduced by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa), his office announced. “Adopting universal preschool is an investment in our future that will pay dividends for years to come,” Dodd said in a statement. “As a father and a grandfather, I know that there is no more…

MSU leads effort to boost preschoolers writing skills

January 9, 2018

Working with preschool classrooms in Flint, Michigan, and Atlanta, a Michigan State University scholar is leading a federally funded initiative to improve young students’ writing skills. The $1.5 million initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, comes as a vast majority of older students are performing at only a basic level in writing,  according to national test results  in…

Principal Prep in New Jersey (and Much of the Country) Lacks Early Ed Focus

January 9, 2018
Abbie Lieberman

While a great deal of time, research, and funding has been dedicated to trying to improve teacher quality, less investment has been directed toward improving the effectiveness of another key contributor to student success: school leaders. In fact, research shows that after teachers, principals are the most important in-school factor impacting student achievement. In addition…

Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?

January 9, 2018
Jeneen Interlandi

Many preschool teachers live on the edge of financial ruin. Would improving their training — and their pay — improve outcomes for their students? One snowy February morning at the Arbors Kids preschool branch in downtown Springfield, Mass., 38-year-old Kejo Kelly crouched low over a large, faded carpet and locked eyes with a blond-haired boy…

As CHIP Funding Nears Expiration, Study Warns that Half of All Kids Under 4 Depend on Publicly Provided Health Care

January 8, 2018
Kevin Mahnken

As  Congress debates  whether to approve a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a recently released  brief from the Urban Institute  has spotlighted the initiative’s importance to young families. Nearly half of all American children under the age of 4 receive health care coverage under CHIP or Medicaid, along with 20 percent of their parents. CHIP covers 8.9 million children…