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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

When Research and Emotions Collide


May 20, 2015 Access

Certain practices evoke strong reactions among early educators. Kindergarten “red-shirting ( Katz , 2000),” academic “hothousing” ( Hills , 1987), and developmentally inappropriate practice raise ire, yet pale in comparison to the issue of retaining children early in their school careers. As an increasing number of states adopt policies supporting, even requiring retention, emotions run high among early…

The State of Preschool 2014


May 11, 2015 Access

NIEER released the State of Preschool 2014 today. State pre-K programs may have turned a corner in 2013-2014, but progress remains slow. If pre-K is to be made available to even all children under 200 percent of the poverty level within the next 20 years, state investments will have to grow at a much faster pace. At the 2013-2014…

Spring peepers and the war on Pre-K for All


February 27, 2015 Access

In the past week I have seen many more attacks directed against Pre-K for All than I have in some time. This signals the start of the state budget season as surely as drumming woodpeckers and noisy peepers signal the arrival of spring. What I find surprising is how many preschool policy peepers promote misinformation…

Will FY2016 be the year for children? Or déjà vu?


February 4, 2015 Access

In January’s State of the Union address , President Obama highlighted several initiatives meant to simplify child care for America families. The White House’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2016, released on Monday, provides further insight into the costs and details of these programs as well as additional areas of focus within the early childhood world. Early…

Annie Rooney French on Early Learning Leadership Networks in Kentucky


December 23, 2014 AccessWorkforce

As part of a planned series of conversations on CEELO’s theme of Leading for Excellence in Early Childhood, CEELO staff member Kirsty Clarke Brown talked with Annie Rooney French Ph.D., Preschool Consultant with the Kentucky Department of Education. She described the Early Learning Leadership Networks in that state, and how they are integral to promoting early childhood program development….

Early Education Has Its Day


December 11, 2014 Access

Yesterday, the White House hosted its first Summit on Early Childhood Education . The Summit brought together a wide variety of stakeholders, including local government officials; private philanthropy; researchers; federal government officials; and business leaders. The President’s remarks can be seen here . The event also launched the InvestInUs campaign, administered by the First Five Years Fund to encourage private-public investment in a range of early…

The second “I” in QRIS


November 24, 2014 AccessOutcomes

As quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS, QRS, and Tiered QRIS) take hold across states with support from federal agencies via the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge’s high-quality, accountable programs and Preschool Development Grant opportunities, the “system of systems” still remains under quiet scrutiny and undergoes continuous improvement itself. This is particularly true to better serve children with special…

Preschool and politics


November 4, 2014 Access

In a recent post, Fawn Johnson of the National Journal’s Education Insider asked If everyone wants preschool, why isn’t it growing? What catalyst is needed to dramatically grow preschool enrollment? Why has it stalled? What can state and city governments do to increase enrollment? There is ample evidence the public, across the country and across political orientations, strongly supports early…

Keeping early learning at arm’s length


October 29, 2014 Access

We are a nation intrigued by lists, and I am no exception. I scour lists from top to bottom on any number of topics, from best companies to work for to international rankings for educational performance. I also look for any underlying trends that may tell the story behind the list. It should come as…

The research says high quality preschool does benefit kids


October 21, 2014 AccessOutcomes

In a response for the Washington Post Answer Sheet , Steve Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research deconstructs a new Cato Institute policy brief  by David J. Armor, professor emeritus of public policy at George Mason University, who also has a piece on washingtonpost.com arguing his position under the headline “We have no idea if universal preschool actually helps kids.” We do know. It does. Here…