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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

What are State Programs Doing to Engage Pre-K Families?

June 16, 2010

Policies directed at encouraging family engagement continue to be of interest for the field as policymakers, researchers and advocates look for ways to improve early childhood education programs and child outcomes. The State of Preschool 2009 Yearbook collected data on family engagement activities in state-funded prekindergarten programs. Programs were asked about required engagement activities, as…

Enhancing Policy and Practice for Young Dual Language Learners: What Does the Research Base Look Like?

June 7, 2010 English Language Learners

It’s critically important that more and better data on English Language Learners (ELLs) be collected so the early childhood field can move ahead with much-needed analyses that can help inform policy on a number of fronts. NIEER’s compilation of state efforts to collect data on the ELL population and support of ELLs is a welcome development. As language issues continue to assume a higher profile in the field, it’s also important…

Does State Pre-K Effectively Serve English Language Learners?

June 4, 2010 English Language Learners

As the population of young children changes, there has been an increase in research focusing on English Language Learners (ELLs). For The State of Preschool 2009 yearbook, data were collected on the number of ELLs in state-funded prekindergarten programs, support services for ELLs and their families, and whether or not programs identify having non-English speaking family members as a risk…

What the Yearbook Says About Teacher Qualifications

May 28, 2010 Workforce

Findings from the 2009 State of Preschool yearbook indicate a slow down in the recent trend of increasing standards for teacher qualifications. Overall, for the 2008-2009 school year, 23 out of 38 states with pre-K programs failed to fully meet NIEER benchmarks for teacher qualifications. Qualifications include having a minimum of a BA degree and…

Leadership Matters: Governors’ 2011 State Pre-K Budgets Run the Gamut

May 20, 2010

If all of the governors’ FY 2011 budgets were to pass as proposed, total state pre-K funding would remain roughly the same as FY 2010 – about $5.3 billion, says Pre-K Now’s just-released Leadership Matters report. Beyond the national total, however, lie big variations, ranging from expansion plans in Alabama to elimination of state pre-K in Arizona….

Using The State of Preschool 2009: What You See In Print is Only Part of What You Get

May 14, 2010

Each year, when we publish the NIEER State of Preschool Yearbook, we rank the various state pre-K programs based on children’s access to them and resources allocated to pre-K in each state. Beyond these rankings, however, there’s lots to learn from the print edition and even more in the online edition, which contains an informative…

Education Can “Shore Up” New Jersey’s Image

May 10, 2010 Workforce

Linda Darling-Hammond’s recent lecture at the Education Law Center in Newark could not have come at a more appropriate time for concerned New Jersey educators. Except for heated debates between a newly elected governor and the New Jersey Education Association, the only notoriety that New Jersey has received lately has been Jersey Shore, a silly…

Steven Barnett: Thoughts on the State of Preschool

May 4, 2010 Workforce

Today I visited a wonderful publicly funded preschool program run by the AppleTree Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.  In D.C., 40 percent of 4-year-olds attend the District’s preschool programs and nearly a quarter of the 3-year-olds.  The programs meet high standards and are adequately funded.  I don’t know if all of them are up…

A First Step, But Common Core Standards Must Meet the “Goldilocks Test”

April 27, 2010 Outcomes

It’s no surprise that the K-12 Common Core State Standards posted for comments by the Center for Best Practices at the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers received plenty of them from early childhood professionals. After all, this effort in standards-making, when complete, will directly impact teaching and curriculum, if used as intended, and…

Anatomy of a Subsidized Child Care Fraud

April 22, 2010

Congratulations are due Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel who took home a Pulitzer Prize for her series “Cashing in on Kids” that exposed deception and fraud in the $350 million Wisconsin Shares program. Besides being compelling reading, Rutledge’s series is a cautionary tale for policymakers and administrators of child care programs. That’s because, in…