Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Curriculum’ Category

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for

A new education initiative called Future Ready Massachusetts offers parents insights about how to prepare their children for college and careers. It’s a smart way to make sure that parents are in the know about what their children need to succeed.

“Being Future Ready means having the knowledge, skills and attitudes to complete whatever education and training you need to achieve your goals in school, work and life,” the website explains.

The Future Ready campaign has two goals:

 1. to increase the number of students who succeed in their colleges and careers, and

2. to build community and family support to encourage students to complete a rigorous course of study that prepares them for better opportunities after high school.

 Future Ready is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in partnership with many other organizations across the commonwealth. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Last month, six states heard great news from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont learned that they would receive a combined $281 million in grant awards from the 2013 Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) fund “to improve access to high-quality early learning and development programs throughout their states,” according to a press release.

“By investing in high-quality early learning through programs like Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, we are able to close achievement gaps, provide life-transforming opportunities for children, and strengthen and build a thriving middle class,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in the press release.

Duncan thanked “governors, state officials, and education advocates” for their leadership, adding, “This investment is a down payment to support and implement high-quality early learning programs across the country. There is still a lot more work for us to do.”

“This administration is committed to ensuring all children have a chance to succeed,” Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in the press release. “An investment in our children is an investment in our nation’s future.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Gateway Cities – the onetime mill and manufacturing towns that helped fuel the economy in Massachusetts – fell on hard times when the industrial era faded.

“Our economic strategy for the past several years has been centered on creating only highly-skilled, high-paying jobs in high-profile cities,” Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish said at a recent Gateway Cities event hosted by the local nonprofit think tank MassINC. “The result has been limited growth throughout the rest of the commonwealth, and a middle class that has been cast aside.”

Now these 26 cities – from Brockton, Lawrence and Lowell to New Bedford, Westfield and Worcester — are making a comeback.

Refusing to be branded as “underperforming,” the Gateway Cites are using a new report to “articulate a vision for effective 21st-century learning systems,” as Mayor Kimberley Driscoll of Salem and Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg explain in the report. Called “The Gateway Cities Vision for Dynamic Community-Wide Learning Systems,” it was released earlier this month by MassINC. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley

Photo: United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley

More than 200 people came to the Boston Children’s Museum last Thursday night to attend “Conversation with the Boston Mayoral Candidates – Early Childhood and Education: Closing the Achievement and Opportunity Gaps.”  Strategies for Children, Boston Children’s Museum, Thrive in 5 and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley cosponsored the event along with 31 other organizations.

Both candidates – City Councilor John Connolly and State Representative Marty Walsh — participated, each on stage separately. Candidates answered questions posed by the night’s moderator, WBZ political reporter Jon Keller, and from the audience, which included early educators, providers, pediatricians, college students, professors of higher education, teachers, advocates, and citizens.

As Carolyn Lyons, the president and CEO of Strategies for Children, explained to the audience in her introduction, the forum builds on the momentum that has been fueled by early education proposals from Governor Deval Patrick and other governors,  the Massachusetts legislature and President Obama’s bold proposal to expand preschool programs nationally.

The candidates were asked to come prepared to articulate their vision for Boston’s children and families and discuss what they would do for children and families should they become mayor. They responded by (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

As Bostonians prepare to elect a new mayor, we would like to take a minute to examine civic engagement from a preschooler’s point of view. Young children are citizens and their decisions can have a big impact on a community, even if they can’t vote.

Tonight, the rights and needs of children will be discussed at a Boston Children’s Museum forum on early childhood education that will feature the two mayoral candidates.

Children’s rights as citizens have also received long-standing attention from Ben Mardell, a Lesley University professor of early education. As we recently wrote, Mardell is on a mission to help children participate in the public debate.

Adult voices fill town halls and public debates, but Mardell asks how children can participate in the civic process in meaningful ways. One powerful answer, he says, is to ask children for their opinions about issues that matter to them. The next step is to share children’s ideas and input with community leaders.

That’s the thinking behind a project Mardell worked on: a book called “Places to Play in Providence: A Guide to the City by Our Youngest Citizens.” Written by a group of the city’s three- and four-year-olds, the book features pictures and observations about playgrounds and other play areas.

The book was written for participants in NAEYC’s 20th National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development, which was held two years ago in Providence. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Mayor Logo

This Thursday, October 24, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., the Boston Children’s Museum hosts a Conversation with the Boston Mayoral Candidates. Jon Keller, WBZ-TV News’ Political Analyst will moderate the conversation.

To retain Boston’s status as an economic leader and hub of innovation in the years ahead, the next Mayor must improve educational outcomes for the city’s children. The achievement gap is evident long before children enter school, and we will not succeed in closing it unless we target resources to improve early learning and healthy child development.

Join us for a conversation with the two candidates running for Mayor and hear more about their vision for children and families in Boston.

This event is sponsored by: Boston Children’s Museum, Strategies for Children, Thrive in 5, and United Way of MA Bay and Merrimack Valley.

Co-sponsors to date include:  ABCD ● Associated Early Care and Education ● BOSTnet  ● Boston After School and Beyond ● Boston Association for the Education of Young Children ● Boston Children’s Hospital  ● Boston Opportunity Agenda ● Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester ● Catholic Charities of Boston  ● Cradles to Crayons ● The Children’s Trust ● Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative ● Ellis Memorial & Eldredge House, Inc ● Families First Parenting Programs ● Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts   ● Family Service of Greater Boston ● Friends of the Children – Boston ● Generations Incorporated ● Horizons for Homeless Children ● Jumpstart ● MA Afterschool Partnership ● MA Association for Early Education and Care ● Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics ● MA Kids Count ● MA Head Start Association ● Raising A Reader MA ● Reach Out and Read ● Room to Grow ● United South End Settlements ● Wheelock College

For more information, please contact tdosremedios@strategiesforchildren.org

Read Full Post »

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

“Four year olds are citizens, not potential citizens, not citizens in training, but citizens, with rights and obligations like all citizens,” Ben Mardell and his co-authors write in a 2010 paper called, – “The Rights of Children: Policies to Best Serve Three, Four and Five Year Olds in Public Schools.”

“Children must be recognized not just as growing unfinished beings,” the report says, “but also as true thinkers and doers, as active participants in their education”.

“We have to see children as more than cute,” Mardell, a professor of early childhood education at Lesley University, explained in a recent interview. They are cute, he quickly adds, but more importantly, they are citizens of their classrooms, their schools, and of the larger community.

As citizens, children have rights – not only to health care, food and protection from abuse, but also the right to participate in decisions that affect them. They can’t vote or serve or juries, Mardell notes, but ask children about parks or classroom rules, and they have interesting things to say.

“Kids are researchers with hypotheses,” Mardell says. They have powerful thoughts and ideas that they are constantly testing. “I see them as part of the research team.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is launching the Berkshire Early Learning Lab, a promising new, federally funded, three-year professional development program that will teach educators about the science of early learning and about teaching STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math.

The program will serve a diverse group of educators including pre-k through second grade teachers as well as “teachers, assistants, providers, and family advocates in Head Start and Child Care of the Berkshires center-based education and home child care sites,” according to the website of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

“During the first year, the project will focus on STEM learning experiences. Years two and three will center more on arts integration and the production of STEAM (STEM plus Art) units,” according to a press release from the college.

Participating educators will be able to:

- Enroll in college-level early childhood education courses that highlight inquiry- based learning (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

What have we learned – and what else do we need to know?

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), established in 2002 as a research division of the U.S. Department of Education, asks this question in a recent report — “Synthesis of IES Research on Early Intervention and Early Childhood Education.”

The report summarizes findings from IES-funded early education research that has been published in peer-reviewed journals through June 30, 2010. The studies examined a broad range of early childhood research projects focusing on curriculum, professional development models, child outcomes in early math and literacy, children’s social/emotional development, and more. The authors focused on research that has looked at improving “school readiness for children who are at risk for later school failure,” as well as at improving “developmental outcomes and school readiness” for children from birth through age five who have or are at risk of having disabilities. In addition to summarizing what has been learned from IES-funded projects, the authors suggest “avenues for further research to support improvements in early childhood education in our country.”

The report examines four areas of research and describes a number of findings within each area. Highlights are presented below: (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

It was inspiring to hear President Obama call for universal preschool in his State of the Union address. Now, his 2014 federal budget proposal for a national expansion of preschool could create early education and care programs that give more of the country’s children the early start they need to achieve lifelong success.

“A zip code should never predetermine the quality of any child’s educational opportunities,” the White House said in a statement. Sadly, zip codes do matter when they define high concentrations of poverty. As the White House notes, “studies show that children from low-income families are less likely to have access to high-quality early education, and less likely to enter school prepared for success.”

As part of the national Early Learning Day of Action, Eye On Early Education joins advocates in states across the country in answering the question – What would the president’s bold $75 billion proposal mean if it became law? Here’s what we think the historic proposal would lead to:

In the short term:

- High-quality programs — with strong curriculum and well-trained teachers — that promote child’s growth and development.

- Increased access to early education programs that would eliminate the long waiting lists of families seeking placements for their children. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,955 other followers

%d bloggers like this: