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Recent early education news and updates

In the News

Colorado highlighted in national report on easing transition from preschool to kindergarten

July 17, 2017
Amy Schimke

When kids arrive in kindergarten, teachers often lack essential information about how they’re doing. Can they take turns? Do they know their letters? Are they given to meltdowns? A  new report  highlights Colorado’s efforts to more carefully track preschoolers’ progress and make sure kindergarten teachers have that information when their new crop of students arrive. Such initiatives…

Schools Use Loophole to Exceed Limit for Pre-K Classes

July 17, 2017
Jennifer Palmer

Small classes are a cornerstone of pre-K, but some districts are now raising a long-held cap on the number of students, a move that could dilute Oklahoma’s most admired and arguably successful educational initiatives. Like many other states, Oklahoma limits pre-K classes to 20 students. When there are more than 10 students, the classroom teacher…

Governors Tell Congress: Early Education Just as Crucial as Health Care, Tax Reform

July 14, 2017
Andrew Ujifusa

The nation’s governors told Congress earlier this week that they considered early childhood education policy to be on par with big-ticket issues that often grab more of the spotlight. In a Thursday letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate education committees, the National Governors Association said that “education and care…

Boston Medical, Head Start Team Up to Reduce Maternal Depression

July 13, 2017
Marla Durben Hirsch

Boston Medical Center has joined forces with the Action for Boston Community Development’s Head Start program to reduce and prevent depression in mothers of Head Start students. Maternal depression affects about 12 million women in the United States annually and disproportionally impacts low-income and minority women. In a five-year pilot program,  reported  as a study in the June…

Early Childhood Special Education and ESSA: A Great Opportunity for All

July 12, 2017
Donna Spiker, Kathleen Hebbeler, Debbie Cate and Sharon Walsh

The early childhood provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) enable districts to improve early learning for all children, including young children with disabilities. ESSA allows (but does not require) use of Title I funding for early childhood, birth through third grade education. If districts do use Title I funds for this, they are…

ESSA Allows States to Focus on Often Overlooked Pre-K Ed Players — School Principals

July 12, 2017
Abbie Lieberman

 While teachers and their students are beginning to soak up some much-earned summer vacation, officials in most state departments of education are busy finalizing their plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and deciding what to do with their newfound flexibility. (The 74:  Exclusive — New Interactive Map Shows State Progress in Finalizing ESSA Plans ) As my colleagues at New America have  pointed out , ESSA presents…

Alabama pilot program seeks better learning by 3rd grade

July 11, 2017
Mike Cason

Seven Alabama schools will take part in a pilot program to improve learning through better collaboration and coordination of teaching strategies in pre-kindergarten through third grade, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office announced. “If we haven’t given our students a strong learning foothold by the third grade, they will be fighting an uphill battle for the rest…

The Global Search for Education: A New Look at Early Childhood Education Around the World

July 11, 2017
C.M. Rubin

“When children are born, they don’t know any concept of race, ethnicity or citizenship. These are social constructs,” says Andreas Schleicher, Director, Directorate for Education and Skills for the OECD in Paris. Early childhood education and care is the first opportunity to introduce children to the diversity of society, and their experience there “can have…

The high cost of limited access to early childhood education in Detroit

July 11, 2017
Lauren Tanabe

Detroit resident Kelly Cousins was working for a women’s empowerment organization when she became pregnant. Out of all potential employers, she thought, surely they would have some of the more family friendly policies. “I found out that they had no paid maternity leave and no short-term disability,” she says. “How is that empowering?” Her preferred…

The ‘word gap’ and one city’s plan to close it

July 11, 2017
Elizabeth Mann

Two decades ago, researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley revealed a particularly stark difference in the experiences of toddlers with different income levels.  As Hart and Risley described it , low-income infants hear many fewer words per day than their middle- and high-income peers, totaling to a 30-million-word difference by age three. They coined this discrepancy “the word gap.” Hart and…