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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Early Education: Reflecting Back….and Moving Forward


February 1, 2018 Quality and CurriculumState & Local
Joan Lombardi, Ph.D.

The National Association of State Boards of Education recently published Stepping Up for Early Childhood Education exploring ways to revitalize state policymaker efforts ensuring all children have a strong start and featuring an article by CEELO Senior Project Director Lori Connors-Tadros about the legacy of a 30-year-old NASBE task force on early education. In this blog, Joan Lombardi, reflects on the leadership role…

Funding the Future


January 24, 2018 Economics and FinanceQuality and Curriculum
GG Weisenfeld

Education commissioners from across the country recently gathered at their annual Winter Commissioners Meeting to learn, share ideas, and prepare to guide education policy in the coming year. Building on the 2016 Education Commission of the States (ECS) report, K-3 Policymakers’ Guide to Action: Making the early years count , the meeting focused on strategic planning for the future—ensuring a capable future workforce through intentional investments across P-20…

The State of Preschool 2016: Raising the Bar on Quality


May 26, 2017 Quality and CurriculumState & Local
Allison Friedman-Krauss, Ph.D.

The State of Preschool 2016 yearbook released this week found more states–43 plus the District of Columbia and Guam–funding public preschool programs, more children enrolled and more quality standards benchmarks met. Since we began surveying states in 2002, continued–albeit, slow–progress has been made. Since NIEER introduced the Yearbook in 2003, research has continued to inform practice regarding the characteristics of…

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