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Recent early education news and updates

In the News

Facing Federal Deadline, More ESSA Plans Head to Governors’ Desks

September 6, 2017
Daarel Burnette II

In the final weeks before 34 states are to give the U.S. Department of Education their accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act, governors are weighing in on what they think about their state’s proposed education agendas. Already, in states such as  MissouriNorth Carolina , and  Pennsylvania , governors have given detailed responses to plans and requested that…

Boot camps for tots: Kindergarten orientation provides a head start

September 5, 2017
Moriah Balingit

One day in August, 16 squirmy youngsters at Alexandria’s Douglas MacArthur Elementary School made their way down an empty hallway, some moving haltingly, some running their fingers along the walls. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to walk quietly to breakfast,” their teacher, Anthony Jackson, bellowed. “I like what I’m seeing today! Good job!” It was…

Pre-K: Preparing for the Most Important Year

September 1, 2017

Millions of kids across the country are starting school this week. Yesterday, we heard about how  access to early childhood education programs  is expanding nationwide, though still lagging in a handful of states. But even as more kids are attending school earlier, what they’re learning and how they’re learning varies from classroom to classroom, and it often doesn’t match up with what’s…

Michigan’s education failures spell future disaster

September 1, 2017
Jack Lessenberry

We got the  latest results from our statewide education tests  earlier this week, and here are the highlights — without the jargon. Johnny mostly can’t read as well as he should, and neither can Susie, although she’s doing a little better. Both are doing a little better in math than last year, but not nearly as well as they should. For black…

New preschool programs launch in Montana, funded by temporary state grant

September 1, 2017
Jayme Fraser

ALBERTON — Sue Dallapiazza started as Alberton’s first-ever preschool teacher with only a few days to buy supplies, set up a room and build a program. “White, blank walls. There was nothing there. We had to go buy everything. We worked hard, didn’t we, Kim?” Dallapiazza said, standing amid a flurry of five 4- and…

Mapping America’s Child Care Deserts

August 31, 2017
Rasheed Malik and Katie Hamm

On a Saturday in August 2016, Samantha Harmon received a shocking email. Her son Nathan’s child care center would close permanently, effective on Monday. Without backup care, Samantha immediately took off work to try to find another child care provider. 1  The Harmons live in a middle-class suburb of Rochester, New York, where licensed child care…

Obesity prevention guidelines are not followed for preschool children

August 30, 2017

CINCINNATI — In a study of nearly 400 preschool children, only one child adhered to obesity prevention guidelines over the course of a single day at child care and at home. The 5-2-1-0 guidelines recommend children eat at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables, view less than two hours of screen time,…

As Consensus Around Pre-K Grows, Access Still Lags

August 29, 2017
Todd Zwillich

It’s late August, and that means many American schoolchildren are returning to school. As parents prepare their kids for the upcoming year, we wanted to look at a class that, in many areas, still does not exist: Pre-kindergarten. Across the country, about 1.5 million or 40 percent of 4-year-olds are enrolled in some form of publicly-funded early…

Why state funding for education matters

August 29, 2017
Flynn Ross

State funding for education was at the heart of the  state government shutdown in July. Quality public education for all students is  essential  for workforce development, the economy, and the future for Maine. State funding is the key to ensuring that all students across the state have equitable access to quality schools. Investment in education is well documented to…

When children are ready for school, they are ready for life

August 29, 2017
David Lawrence Jr. and Vance Aloupis

As a new school year begins, more than 230,000 Florida children are stepping into kindergarten to begin their primary education, and perhaps 30 percent of them won’t really be ready to succeed. In Florida, age is the sole determining factor for entry into public kindergarten programs. But child education experts — and common sense —…