Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children
“Access to preschool programs — and their quality — varies widely across Texas,” according to a Houston Chronicle article, “Broad coalition pushes anew for expanded pre-K.”
These variations play out within and across school districts. Some schools offer full-day programs, others only run for a half a day. So children in programs that are only 10 miles apart can have vastly different experiences.
“Currently, Texas only pays for half day pre-kindergarten for at-risk 4 year-olds. There are no limits on those class sizes. And child-care providers don’t have to have a college degree,” an article on Houston Public Media’s website says.
The Chronicle says that NIEER (the National Institute for Early Education Research) estimates that “52 percent of 4-year-olds in Texas were enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs last year, and another 9 percent attended federal Head Start pre-K. Enrollment in private programs isn’t tracked.”
“According to data from the Texas Education Agency, 690 districts offered full-day pre-K programs – lasting four or more hours – and 347 districts had only half-day classes. Continue Reading »
Posted in Family engagement, National, Pre-kindergarten, Reading proficiency | Leave a Comment »
Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children
Earlier this month an article in the Vineyard Gazette – “First Step Is Big Step on Path of Education” – looked at preschool on Martha’s Vineyard.
“As a conversation unfolds in Massachusetts and around the country on the value of pre-kindergarten learning and whether it should be incorporated into public school education, interviews with early childhood educators on the Island reveals a similar conversation is quietly taking place here,” the article says.
Famous for being a summer vacation destination, the Vineyard faces familiar challenges in providing high-quality early education programs, including access, affordability, and serving English Language Learners.
“There are no comprehensive hard numbers on the preschool-aged population on the Vineyard, although it is known that the 10 preschools and 18 state-licensed day care facilities can accommodate up to 386 children on any given day,” according to the article. “The 2010 census found that there were 818 children under the age of six whose parents work. This would suggest that possibly there are more children needing preschool and day care than available spaces, although not all the schools and centers are fully enrolled.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Dept. of Early Education and Care, Pre-kindergarten, Science & math, Standards and curriculum | Leave a Comment »
How is Massachusetts doing on third-grade reading proficiency? And how, specifically, are third graders in your community doing?
Strategies for Children’s (SFC) newly updated infographics webpage make it easy to see how reading skills and achievement play out across the state. These images and graphs can be shared online or printed out and distributed at meetings. The data originates from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and can be explored in detail on the department’s website.
As we blogged last month, scores on the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) have been stagnant.
In a statement, Chris Martes, SFC’s president and CEO, wrote, “The 2014 MCAS scores show that the state’s third grade reading proficiency rates have not changed since last year. This year, as in 2013, 43 percent of third grade students did not score proficient in reading. That’s roughly 29,000 children who did not meet this crucial educational benchmark.”
“The consequences of reading failure at this age are significant. Struggling readers are four times less likely to graduate high school on time than proficient readers, jeopardizing their prospects for participating in our global knowledge-based economy.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Achievement gap, Assessments, Boston, Demographics, Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, Literacy, Multimedia, Reading proficiency, Strategies for Children | Leave a Comment »
Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children
How much is a college degree worth? Quite a lot, for students who major in chemical engineering. Their median lifetime earnings are more than $2 million.
But the median lifetime earnings of students who major in early childhood education – about $770,000 — is less than that of any other college major including social work, theology, fine arts and elementary education.
This disappointing news comes from a report — “Major Decisions: What Graduates Learn Over Their Lifetimes” — released last month by the Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institution.
“Drawing upon data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, we examine earnings for approximately 80 majors, focusing on both annual earnings for each year of the career and cumulative lifetime earnings,” the report explains.
Among the key findings:
“Majors that train students to work with children or provide counseling services tend to have graduates with the lowest earnings.” Continue Reading »
Posted in College/career readiness, Early educators, National, Pre-kindergarten, Professional development & preparation, Reading proficiency | Leave a Comment »
Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children
As preschool programs around the country grow, parents need to know how to pick the best program for their children.
Take the case of New York:
“Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged that this year’s free pre-K classes would all be ‘high quality.’ But what does that look like?” Amy Zimmer asks in a DNAinfo NewYork article, “9 Signs of a Good Pre-K Program.”
DNAinfo New York consulted with experts, “including those who’ve spent years in classrooms teaching 4-year-olds as well as professional development experts responsible for training pre-K teachers…”
Here’s the resulting nine-item list of what to look for. Continue Reading »
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