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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

This Week: Thank a Teacher

May 4, 2011 Workforce

From elementary school students to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan , people across the nation are taking time to thank a teacher throughout the week. That’s because this week is Teacher Appreciation Week , a time to not only celebrate our educators but also to learn more about teaching as a profession. Years of research have found that teachers play an extremely important…

In the News: The State of Preschool

April 29, 2011

The results of NIEER’s annual survey of state-funded preschool, The State of Preschool 2010: State Preschool Yearbook, were released this week in Washington, DC. At the release, NIEER Co-Director Steve Barnett noted that the data showed that, nationally speaking, the recession is continuing to negatively impact state-funded pre-K programs. “Overall, state cuts to preschool funding…

Latest Yearbook Findings: A Wake-Up Call?

April 26, 2011

When NIEER’s research team analyzed the 2009–2010 data for this year’s State Preschool Yearbook , it was not without some trepidation. News coming from the states has been anything but encouraging and we knew the previous year’s data had not captured the full impact of the recession. In many respects, the 2009-2010 data does present a fuller appreciation…

An Early Start to Financial Education

April 15, 2011 Outcomes

This week the PNC Grow Up Great program marked its seventh anniversary. The program was launched by the PNC Financial Services Group in 2004 as a 10-year, $100 million school readiness program to help prepare at-risk children for school and life. Since the program’s inception, more than 1 million children have been served by the…

More Great Work from John Merrow

April 8, 2011 Outcomes

This week we saw on PBS Newshour an important installment in John Merrow’s continuing and exemplary pursuit of answers to what ails education in this country. Learning Matters, the nonprofit production company he founded traveled to Chicago where they visited homes with preschool-age children and visited an outstanding Educare program that serves kids from infancy…

Head Start’s Improved Eligibility Process is a Positive Change, but Doesn’t Address the Root Problem—For Many American Families Quality Early Education is Out of Reach

April 1, 2011

It comes as welcome news that the Office of Head Start proposes more stringent rules for enrollment eligibility and data keeping in the program. (See the Federal Register at: .)  Although the extent of the problem is unknown, in some locales parents have been able to enroll their children in Head Start despite the fact…

New York and Ohio: Early Education Caught Up in a Fiscal Crisis

March 21, 2011

Research by early childhood stakeholders in New York and Ohio finds that expanding pre-K has the potential to improve the supply of high-quality child care in those and other states. Our recent research has found that child care providers participating in state funded pre-K report receiving additional funding, technical assistance, and support that enables them…

Selling our Children’s Birthright

March 4, 2011

Is Anybody Listening to Ben, David and Paul? Anyone interested in our children’s future — and thus that of our nation — should be alarmed at the news coming from state houses and Capitol Hill these days. From Georgia to Iowa to Texas, governors are proposing to cut early childhood education in their efforts to…

Teachers Must Get the Facts Out and Support Smart Evaluation, Pay and Tenure Reform

February 17, 2011 AssessmentWorkforce

These days teachers find themselves swept up in the cross currents of an education debate about how to evaluate and pay teachers that is more polarizing and ugly by the day. Some days the debate generates much more heat than light, and this topic is greatly in need of illumination. Without at doubt, change is…

Will New Jersey Gut Its Abbott Preschool Program? Or, How to Ruin Absolutely Everything

February 4, 2011 Outcomes
W. Steven Barnett, Ph.D.

New Jersey Republicans are floating a proposal to cut the state’s highly effective Abbott Preschool Program from a full day of services to half a day. This, they say, would free up about $300 million in school funding that could be “more equitably” disbursed statewide.  As is so often the case with such figures, the…