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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Cities Emerge as Preschool Champions


May 22, 2018 State & Local
W. Steven Barnett, GG Weisenfeld, Ellen Frede

Support for public funding of high-quality preschool is near universal; elected officials from both parties at all levels of government, business people, law enforcement professionals, military leaders, pediatricians, neuroscientists, educators and developmental researchers all understand the benefits of a good education for young children. These benefits go beyond the early years and education as preschool…

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…

CEELO turns 5, looks to future


December 21, 2017 FederalState & LocalWorkforce
Jana Martella and Lori Connors-Tadros Ph.D.

Five. It’s an important year in the early childhood continuum, and it is a good time reflect on the journey and look forward to what’s ahead. One of 22 Comprehensive Centers funded by the U.S. Department to provide technical assistance to State Education Agencies (SEAs), the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) was provided an extended opportunity to continue working with…

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…

Putting the ‘Every’ in ESSA: How States Can Prioritize PreK to Grade 3


November 16, 2016 FederalState & Local
by Lori Connors-Tadros, Ph.D.

What would it take for “every child to succeed,” as our new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) suggests?  States can choose to use this major federal education legislation, which at its core is intended to address inequities in educational opportunities, to refocus on the early years–birth to third grade.  State forerunners in addressing early learning…

Questions of Access and Equity: Suspension and Expulsion in PreK


October 26, 2016 AccessOutcomesState & Local
by Kate Abbott, Ph.D.

Expanding access to quality preschool has been a focus of recent policies at both the state and national levels.  The 2015 passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act includes federal support to states that can be used to expand access to quality prekindergarten.  Individual states have varied in their adoption of prekindergarten initiatives. Vermont, for…

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….

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…

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…

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…