June 3, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 22



Education Justice Lecture — Beyond Either/Or: The Constitutional Right to an Equitable and Diverse Public Education

The Education Law Center’s annual Education Justice Lecture on June 9 will explore the constitutional right to an equitable and diverse public education. Keynote remarks will be delivered by John Brittain, a civil rights law professor and litigator who helped litigate Sheff v. O’Neill, the landmark school desegregation case decided by the Connecticut Supreme Court in 1996. A panel presentation will follow featuring Rutgers Law School Professor Elise Boddie. Janel George, associate professor of law and director of the Racial Equity in Education Law and Policy Clinic at Georgetown Law School, will moderate. Register for the lecture here.

Reimaging Black Family and Child Well-Being in Research, Programming and Public Policy

Child Trends will host a webinar on June 15 focused on reconceptualizing well-being for Black children and their families. The webinar, scheduled for 2-3:30 p.m. EDT, will be moderated by Mavis Sanders, senior research scholar of Black children and families at Child Trends. Sanders will lead a discussion with panelists on how to shift a national conversation about Black children and families to one that provides a holistic understanding of Black families and communities, acknowledging their cultural assets. The panelists include Anthony Smith of Cities United; Leah Austin of National Black Child Development Institute; Siobhan Howard Davenport of Crittenton Services of Greater Washington; Zakiya Sankara-Jabar of Racial Justice NOW!; and Terrance Moore of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. Register here.

Early Care and Education Programs During COVID-19: Persistent Inequities and Emerging Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic caused challenges for all child care programs, but some suffered more than others, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley. Using data collected through the 2020 California Early Care and Education Workforce Study, the authors demonstrated that family child care (FCC) providers faced greater economic challenges than center-based providers; for example, they were about four times more likely than center-based directors and teaching staff to report a loss of income during the pandemic. Center-based programs were more likely to experience staffing problems and reduced attendance; however, Head Start and state-contracted centers fared better. Read the full report here.


The Future of Abbott Preschool in New Jersey


On June 11, NIEER Senior co-Director Steven Barnett will discuss “The Future of Abbott Preschool in New Jersey” at the virtual conference Re-Envisioning the Future of Educational Equity in New Jersey. Along with a panel and participants, he will discuss the historic importance of New Jersey’s entitlement to free high-quality preschool education beginning at age 3 for children in communities with high concentrations of poverty, the program’s impressive successes in supporting increased achievement and school success, and the need to reinvigorate and adequately fund key elements for effectiveness, beginning with ensuring that all children in “Abbott” communities enroll at age 3. The discussion is scheduled for 11:20 a.m-12:40 p.m. EDT. Register for the conference here: https://cvent.me/LkEzDk.



Investing in Early Childhood Development in Preschool and at Home

A comprehensive review of empirical research finds environment has considerable influence on individual life outcomes, suggesting that early childhood programs could significantly help children realize their potential. However, the evidence on success in producing this result is quite mixed. The reviewers conclude that existing research on early childhood education falls short of sufficiently answering fundamental questions about what works for whom and why. The authors are Greg Duncan, University of California, Irvine; Ariel Kalil and Magne Mogstad, University of Chicago; and Mari Rege, University of Stavanger, Norway. Read more here

Numeracy Skills Mediate the Relation between Executive Function and Mathematics Achievement in Early Childhood


Executive function (EF) skills predict concurrent and later numeracy skills, including numeral identification, number comparison, and number line estimation, researchers found in two studies of 3- to 6-year-olds. In addition, individual numeracy skills partially mediated the association between EF and mathematics achievement, and the skills together fully mediated the association. “Together, the findings from the two studies suggest that EF supports a collection of early numeracy skills, and in turn support children’s deeper and broader understanding of more advanced number principles—a core component of children’s mathematics achievement,” the researchers wrote. Read the full study, by Jenny Yun-Chen Chan and Nicole Scalise, here.


The Impact of a Summer Intervention Focused on Foundational Concepts of Number Sense for Early Learners

Rising kindergartners who attended a summer mathematics academy showed growth in their understanding of number identification, and those that attended a second year improved in several areas of early number sense. The report’s authors are Sandi Cooper, Ryann N. Shelton, R. Noah Padgett, and Melissa P. Donham of Baylor University in Texas; Brandy Crowley of Emporia State University in Kansas; and Keith Kerschend of Concordia University Nebraska. Read the abstract here.


Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Associations between Quality of Parent–Child Interaction and Language Ability in Preschool-Age Children with Developmental Language Disorder

For young children with developmental language disorder (DLD), a mutually attuned parent–child relationship could provide a protective factor for language development, according to researchers in Finland.


The study involved 71 child-parent pairs evaluated three times during videotaped play sessions. In the initial session, “engaged child behavior, parent’s supportive guidance, and fluent and attuned dyadic behavior were associated with better receptive language ability,” they wrote. Positive baseline results were associated with better expressive and receptive language abilities when children were reevaluated at ages 6 to 7. Read the abstract here.


Early Childhood Development and the Role of Neighbourhood Hubs for Supporting Children’s Development and Wellbeing In Disadvantaged Communities: A Review of The Literature

The authors reviewed research examining integrated services provided to families with children age 5 and under, primarily in low socioeconomic communities in Western Australia. “Factors contributing to socioeconomic disadvantage for young children may limit their access to basic primary healthcare or educational resources. Many of these factors are modifiable at the community or place level through strategies that facilitate connectedness among support services to address or mitigate the current inequity for young children associated with socioeconomic disadvantage,” they wrote. Read the working paper, by Kim Clark, Rosemary Cahill, and David Ansell, here.