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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

NIEER’s Comments on Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge


July 11, 2011 Assessment

As NIEER noted last week , officials from the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released draft guidelines for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) program and will be accepting comments on those guidelines until 5pm EDT today. The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) applauds this early learning initiative and offers the following comments . –…

And They’re Off!: Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Details Announced


July 7, 2011

Last week, in conference calls with stakeholders and reporters, officials from the Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) provided further details on the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) program. The Obama administration announced $500 million for the competitive grants in late May, and will accept feedback on the draft guidelines until July 11 before finalizing the…

Child’s Play: Should Preschoolers Engage with Technology or Good-Old Fashioned Fun?


June 30, 2011

As Alice tumbles down the rabbit hole in children’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, she grabs at a jar of orange marmalade and, having no place to put it when she is done, watches it fall. With the touch of a fingertip, a child reading pulls the jar of orange marmalade back to the top…

Resources: State Pre-K on the Chopping Block?


June 28, 2011

DIGGING DEEPER: WHAT THE YEARBOOK HAS TO SAY ABOUT FUNDING (PART 3 OF 3-PART SERIES) In our annual report of state-funded preschool programs, we examine three key features of each state pre-K initiative: access, quality standards, and resources. Here we provide a big picture look at the last of these features, resources, in an effort…

Quality Standards: Gains and Losses in Tough Times


June 22, 2011

DIGGING DEEPER: WHAT THE YEARBOOK HAS TO SAY ABOUT QUALITY STANDARDS (PART 2 OF 3-PART SERIES) In our annual report of state-funded preschool programs, we examine three key features of each state pre-K initiative: access, quality standards, and resources. Here we provide a big picture look at the one of these features, quality standards, in…

Preschool Access: With Tough Budget Choices Ahead, Will Enrollment Stagnate?


June 17, 2011 Access

DIGGING DEEPER: WHAT THE YEARBOOK HAS TO SAY ABOUT ENROLLMENT (PART 1 OF 3-PART SERIES) In our annual report of state-funded preschool programs, we examine three key features of each state pre-K initiative: access, quality standards, and resources. Here we provide a big picture look at the first of these three features, access, in an…

The Bottom Ten: A Closer Look at No-Program States


June 6, 2011 Quality and Curriculum

The State of Preschool 2010 provided some good news regarding two new pilot programs in Alaska and Rhode Island, meaning there is no longer a “dirty dozen” of states without preschool education programs. However, 10 states still have not made preschool a priority and lack such programs for young learners. These “Bottom Ten” states do provide some services to their…

Winning the Future: Early Learning, Race to the Top, and Federal Funding


May 25, 2011

After more than a month of tweaking and planning, today Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced the details of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RttT-ELC). Both departments will co-administer the $500 million state-level grant competition, which has the goal of rewarding states that develop comprehensive plans for early learning system with coordination, clear learning standards,…

This Memorial Day: A Time to Reflect on the Past … and the Future of Armed Forces


May 20, 2011 Outcomes

How Early Education Can Support Our Military As Memorial Day approaches and Americans collectively prepare for the start of summer it is easy to lose track of the purpose of this day — to honor and remember those Americans in uniform who have died in the service of their country. Unfortunately, recent reports indicate that…

Are Hispanic Children Losing Out in Preschool?


May 16, 2011 English Language LearnersOutcomes

As revealed in The State of Preschool 2010 , enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs nationwide has been negatively impacted by these bad budget years . Enrollment of 4-year-olds nationwide grew by only 3.9 percent, and 3-year-old enrolled actually declined by about 4 percent from 2008-2009 to 2009-2010. Both per-child and overall funding were down as well. These changes appear to be affecting young…