Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children
What’s a critical part of building an early childhood system?
Data show how children are doing. Data help early educators and policymakers see both gaps in access to high-quality programs and places where new policies and public investments are most needed.
Data’s power is also making news in the early education sector.
Recently, the Boston Opportunity Agenda (BOA) released a report card that found, among other things, that during the 2014-2015 school year, “63 percent of incoming kindergarten students were determined to have the necessary early learning skills to succeed and progress.” And “70 percent of kindergarten students met academic benchmarks by the end of last school year,” according to a press release.
BOA is “a public/private partnership among the City of Boston, the Boston Public Schools, the city’s leading public charities and many local foundations;” and its report card tracks “academic performance in traditional public, public charter, and private Catholic schools in Boston.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Assessments, Developmentally appropriate practice, Head Start, Pre-K to 3, Pre-kindergarten | Tagged #data #ece | Leave a Comment »
“This is an initiative that’s not just going to be, you know, pie-in-the-sky ideas. We’re making sure that we really have some ideas that we can kind of measure, data-driven procedures and initiatives that we’re going to put together.”
Massachusetts Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) explaining the Senate’s new Kids First initiative, the State House News Service, January, 2016
Posted in MA Legislature, Pre-K to 3, Pre-kindergarten, Quotes | Leave a Comment »
Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children
This month in the Washington Post, Jared Bernstein makes a strong case for battling social inequality by investing in high-quality early education and care.
Bernstein was Vice President Biden’s chief economist, and he is currently a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The title of his article is: “The biggest public policy mistake we’re continuing to make, year after year.” The article’s tagline adds: “By not investing in quality early childhood education, we’re leaving vulnerable kids behind and lots of future benefits on the table.”
“It is widely agreed that while we do not seek equal outcomes in America, we do aspire to equal opportunity, at least in theory,” he writes in the Post. “We have, however, never come close to that ideal, particularly as regards minorities and those with few resources. A great way to correct that is to invest more national resources in early childhood education.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Achievement gap, Funding, International, National, Pre-kindergarten, Research | Tagged #ece | Leave a Comment »
Senator Stan Rosenberg. Photo source: Senator Rosenberg’s Facebook page
Children will be getting new attention from the Massachusetts Senate. Last week, the Senate announced that it’s launching a new initiative called Kids First that will work to improve the lives of the commonwealth’s children.
Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) told Boston Herald Radio that Kids First will be an effort to boost children’s resiliency and help them “become productive adults.”
Rosenberg named a group of senators who will “look at everything from education and nutrition to public health, housing and workforce development for ways to help the state’s youngest residents,” according to an AP story that ran in the Washington Times. Continue Reading »
Posted in College/career readiness, Funding, K-12, MA Legislature, MA state budget, Pre-K to 3 | Tagged #Kids1stMA, #mapoli | 2 Comments »
House Speaker Robert DeLeo. Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children
“From education to energy to transportation; from economic development bills that focus on diverse regions and industries to our nationally-heralded gun safety legislation; we are known in Massachusetts and this House for pairing bold ideas with commitment to collaboration. We also know that excellence — the historic excellence that makes Massachusetts a national model in areas like education — is achieved by laying groundwork for continuous improvement over time. Although we recognize that we’re facing some real financial constraints, the House will keep its focus on our most precious resource: our children.
“We have one shot to get this right. And we will. That’s why more than a decade ago, members of this House had the insight to create the first-in-the-nation Department of Early Education and Care [EEC]. Access to high-quality early education provides short and long-term benefits that not only impact an individual, but impact our society as a whole: everything from kindergarten readiness, to financial independence, to widespread economic health, to incarceration rates. We will seek ways to improve and revitalize the Massachusetts EEC framework in a responsible, sustainable and forward-looking way. We will help build a system that early educators, parents, and, most of all, our children, deserve. To do so, we will enhance our three-tiered strategy which places a premium on building a strong workforce to ensure improved access to high-quality EEC programming.”
Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) in a speech made to members of the Massachusetts House, January 27, 2016
Posted in Dept. of Early Education and Care, Funding, MA Legislature, MA state budget, Pre-kindergarten, Quotes | Tagged #earlyed, #ece, #mapoli | Leave a Comment »
Yesterday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker released a $39.6 billion state budget proposal for fiscal year 2017.
“This year’s budget sets the table for fiscal responsibility and a strong economic environment, without raising taxes or fees on our hardworking families,” Baker said in a press release. Baker is also trying to close a $635 million budget gap.
This proposal “continues the multi-year effort of bringing state spending in line with revenues, significantly reducing the state’s reliance on one-time solutions, and budgeting for a sizable deposit into the stabilization fund.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Dept. of Early Education and Care, Full-day kindergarten, Funding, MA governor, MA Legislature, MA state budget, Pre-kindergarten | Tagged #ece, #mapoli | Leave a Comment »