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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

The Common Core State Standards are not a curriculum


April 10, 2015 AssessmentOutcomes

Dorothy Strickland, NIEER Distinguished Research Fellow, responds to specific issues raised in various venues by questioners, considering whether literacy standards and related assessments can be developmentally appropriate. Concern: Kindergarten standards are not appropriate for children that age. Assessment related to reaching standards will not be developmentally appropriate, and results may be misused. Much of the concern…

Parents just don’t understand . . .and for good reason!


April 6, 2015 Outcomes

Vincent Costanza, Executive Director, Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, New Jersey Department of Education, and parent, responds on the issue of Parents don’t understand the CCSS and are concerned about what they mean for their children. As a state policy maker, early childhood professional, and elected school board member in my home district, I participate in…

 Collaboration and complexity


April 3, 2015 AssessmentOutcomes

The first responses addressing concerns about CCSS in early childhood education are from Kathleen A. Paciga, Columbia College Chicago;  Jessica L. Hoffman, Winton Woods City School District; and William H. Teale, University of Illinois at Chicago. Concern: The standards are complex and extensive, and there is little guidance for teachers to implement them in Kindergarten classrooms. On…

The good, the bad, and the solution


April 1, 2015 AssessmentOutcomes

The first responses addressing concerns about CCSS in early childhood education are from Kathleen A. Paciga, Columbia College Chicago;  Jessica L. Hoffman, Winton Woods City School District; and William H. Teale, University of Illinois at Chicago. Literacy instruction may become limited to a few texts and drill-and-kill teaching. There are two issues embedded in this concern: (1)…

Top concerns about Common Core State Standards in early childhood education


March 26, 2015 AssessmentOutcomes

There’s been lots of discussion about the Common Core State Standards recently, and their impact on classroom activity and child outcomes. Common Core is a major policy initiative to reform K-12 classroom practices, raise expectations and implement a new generation of assessments (at least in grades 3 and up), so it has major implications for…

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…

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…

Is New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s method for expanding Pre-K a model for other cities?


September 19, 2014 AccessOutcomes

In this week’s edition of  The Weekly Wonk , the weekly online magazine of the New America Foundation, experts were asked: Is New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s method for expanding Pre-K a model for other cities? NIEER Director Steve Barnett and Policy Researcher Coordinator Megan Carolan were among those who weighed in. Their responses can be read…

Evaluating the Teacher Evaluators


August 7, 2014 OutcomesWorkforce

Educators of young children require certain unique skills that differ from those required for children in higher (and more-often tested) grades. Teachers of children in their first years of life lay the foundation of knowledge that children build on for the rest of their educational careers. Therefore, it is particularly important that educators in this…

Children and Poverty: the Role of Preschool


April 3, 2014 Outcomes

This guest post was written by NIEER Senior Research Fellow  Cynthia Lamy . Dr. Lamy is a developmental and educational psychologist whose research and writing focuses primarily on children at risk of school failure, due to the many influences of poverty. She is currently working for the Robin Hood Foundation. High quality preschool generates measurable, long-term impacts on children. …