Menu Close

The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Don’t Just Nod—Do Something


October 19, 2016 Quality and CurriculumUniversal and Targeted
by W. Steven Barnett

Policymakers often sidestep complicated or controversial issues by nodding– to indicate how much they would really like to be on your side–then sighing loudly and, finally, remarking that, indeed, “The devil is in the details.” Well, say hello to the “devil.” Last year, more than 1200 researchers signed a consensus statement describing in some detail…

Learning from Leading States: Building P-3 Systems


October 14, 2016 Quality and CurriculumState & Local
by David Jacobson

In western Oregon, a regional early learning hub supports 30 partnerships of elementary schools, neighboring family childcare providers and community-based preschools focused on professional learning and family engagement. In Lowell, MA, elementary schools, preschool centers, and family childcare providers working in the same neighborhoods participate in “communities of practice” to improve teaching and family engagement….

Being There: Absenteeism Undermines Pre-K Benefits


September 20, 2016 OutcomesQuality and Curriculum
by Melissa Dahlin

The early childhood field is committed to increasing access to high quality early learning experiences. But the work doesn’t stop at enrollment –we need to ensure children are consistently attending in order to reap the benefits. Every day in high quality programs provides ongoing learning opportunities. Missing out on that can have both short- and…

Grading State Pre-K on the Curve: Is the Best Good Enough?


September 14, 2016 Quality and CurriculumState & Local
by Jim Squires

Each spring when NIEER releases The State of Preschool Yearbook there is a rush to compare one state to another. States ranking high in access, resources and quality are pleased while others are disappointed their preschool efforts fall short. This is especially true when states look at the number of benchmarks for minimum acceptable quality standards attained; only 7 programs…

In the Education Olympics Politicians Promise Much but Fail the First Hurdle


August 24, 2016 FederalGovernance and AccountabilityQuality and Curriculum
By W. Steven Barnett Ph.D.

As we celebrate Team USA’s success setting world records and earning medals at the 2016 summer Olympics, we cannot escape the fact America has fallen off a world class pace in education. The United States used to be a world leader in college graduation.  As recently as 1995 we were number one, but we have…

Bill Clinton Spotlights a 1980s Early Education Success Story in Arkansas: Will Politicians of Both Parties Follow this Lead to Support Early Learning Today?


July 28, 2016 AccessQuality and CurriculumState & Local

Former President Bill Clinton praised Arkansas’ preschool programs during a speech this week at the Democratic National Convention, citing the HIPPY program by name, and recalling the pride of parents at preschool graduation ceremonies. HIPPY is a well-researched program helping parents support their young child’s learning and development at home, which Hillary Clinton helped introduce…

Review of Kaufman, Kaufman, and Nelson’s Pre-K Home Companion


July 15, 2016 Quality and Curriculum

by Jessica Francis

Slow and (Un)Steady Does Not Win the Race: What Other States Should Learn from New York


May 12, 2016 AccessQuality and CurriculumState & Local

The economist John Maynard Keynes famously wrote: “The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.” Typically, this phrase is cited to support government intervention over waiting for the eventually self-correcting private sector. As this year’s State of Preschool marks 14 years of tracking state government support for preschool…

Review of Kaufman, Kaufman, and Nelson’s Learning Together: The Law, Politics, Economics, Pedagogy, and Neuroscience of Early Childhood Education


April 21, 2016 Quality and Curriculum
by Jessica Francis

The early years prior to formal primary schooling are characterized by a wide range of experiences for children. As a result, it is not surprising that there are strong opinions both for and against the schooling that is provided for children at this age. Kaufman, Kaufman, and Nelson’s Learning Together: The Law, Politics, Economics, Pedagogy,…

New Resources for Educators, Policy Makers and Families of Young DLLs


April 15, 2016 English Language LearnersQuality and Curriculum
by Alexandra Figueras-Daniel

The challenges of educating young Hispanic DLLs is currently at the forefront of many conversations. Due to the sheer numbers of young DLLs aging into early care settings and kindergarten, the learning outcomes for preschool age DLLs has mounting implications for educators and policy makers alike. One aspect of the conversation centers on the importance…