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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…

The State of the Union and Early Education

January 28, 2011

Like many others I was disappointed that President Obama didn’t mention early childhood education in his State of the Union Speech. Yet when he talked about education, government, and the American people the president said many of the right things for our early learning programs. He noted a sense of urgency when he said the…

Early Childhood Education and the U.S. Labor Market Crisis

January 21, 2011 Outcomes

Guest post by Tim Bartik , Senior Economist, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research As Steve Barnett’s recent post indicated, the U.S. faces a prolonged labor market recovery. As of today, the U.S. would need more than 10 million additional jobs to return to the employment to population ratio at the beginning of this recession (December 2007). Based on typical job growth rates, the U.S. will take five to 10 years before returning to “normal” employment conditions. Given…

Suffer the Children: An Alarming Confluence of Events

January 14, 2011 Outcomes

While investors are celebrating brighter prospects, the news from the hinterlands continues in a much darker vein. The Wall Street Journal reports that wages for a broad swath of the labor force have taken a “sharp and swift” fall to an extent rarely seen since the Great Depression. Between 2007 and 2009 more than half…

First Do No Harm: It’s Time to Address Our Quality Problem

January 6, 2011 Outcomes

In the next several years, those of us who believe government policies can and should help children and families are going to be in a tough fight.  We need to be clear that this is not so much a fight for money as it is a fight for learning and development — a fight to…