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Boston’s Mayor-elect Marty Walsh
Photo: Strategies for Children

Two new mayors will take the oath of office in both Boston and New York. So expect to see these men — Marty Walsh and Bill de Blasio — change the face of education in their cities, a news story in Education Week advises.

“Both cities’ school systems are under mayoral control. Both new mayors will select new executives to run the schools,” the article says. “And both cities still have enormous education challenges to tackle. Large achievement gaps—including in graduation rates—stubbornly persist between black and Latino students and their white and Asian peers.”

As Mayor Thomas Menino leaves office and Walsh steps in, look for “more subtle changes to the 57,000-student school system, which has generally experienced less upheaval in its school improvement efforts than other major urban districts,” the Education Week article says. (more…)

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Marty Walsh  Photo: Strategies for Children

Marty Walsh
Photo: Strategies for Children

Now that Marty Walsh is the mayor-elect, he’s eager to get democratic conversations started, so he’s launched boston14.org, a transition website where people can share their ideas about the future of Boston.

“The exciting but hard work to continue to move Boston forward begins now. I ask for your help, your ideas and your energy to help me, as we make Boston the best she can be,” Walsh says in a quote on the website. “Ours is not an easy task, but by working together, as One Boston, our great city can prosper like never before.

Together, we will make Boston the hub of opportunity for all.”

As he explained in last month’s mayor’s forum on early education at the Children’s Museum, Walsh understands that early education and care programs can educate parents and help children.

Now advocates can use the “Share Your Ideas” section of Walsh’s website to make comments or even upload PDFs. This is a great opportunity to let Walsh know that high-quality early education care and third grade reading proficiency should be among his highest priorities.
(more…)

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Election Day Results

Yesterday was election day in communities across Massachusetts and the country. For results for your community, please visit your local city or town website.

Congratulations to the next mayor of Boston, Representative Marty Walsh. We look forward to working with you on behalf of young children and families. Thanks to John Connolly for highlighting the importance of education during the campaign.

Also, congratulations to Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse on his reelection.

MA readers, be sure to send notes of congratulations to the elected officials who won in your community. This is a fantastic opportunity to build a relationship and share your commitment to young children.

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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…)

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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

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Over the summer, the organizers who run Boston Ed Blog – an effort to keep education at the forefront of the mayoral election — asked the candidates to discuss their views on early education.

Specifically, Ed Blog asked that the candidates: “Tell us how you see early childhood education fitting into the larger education pipeline and what you have been able to do in your career to expand or improve or raise awareness about early childhood care and education (for children from birth through age five). Since every candidate has been in some position of power in his/her career already, please do not focus on what you WILL do, but what you HAVE done.”

Ed Blog also asked candidates to answer its readers’ questions, which covered the full spectrum of education, including how to help low-income parents find tutoring, afterschool and summer programs and how to support students who live in public housing.

Listed in alphabetical order, here is a sample of what the seven candidates who responded had to say. Please go to the Ed Blog’s Cradle to Career Learning post to read their full responses.

Boston residents, be sure to vote in the primary on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. The top two candidates will advance to the general election, which will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. (more…)

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Election Day – Tuesday, November 6 — is fast approaching, and we want to make sure that candidates include young children and families in their education agendas. On this last Friday before Election Day, I pose a wrap-up question:

A compelling body of research tells us that high-quality early education is one of the most cost-effective investments we can make in our children’s future, our state’s future and our nation’s future. Research also tells us that children’s ability to read proficiently by the end of third grade strongly predicts their chances of success in school and beyond. With the path to literacy beginning at birth, the two issues are inextricably linked. Will you put a stake in the ground and commit to investing the resources and supporting the policies that will ensure that children have access to high-quality early education and become proficient readers by the end of third grade?

For more questions, check out “Eight questions about young children to ask candidates” that I suggest in a post on MassMoms.com, on the (Worcester) Telegram & Gazette website.

Finally, vote on Tuesday, November 6. In Massachusetts, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Massachusetts voters, click here for the location of your polling place.

(The regular Friday “In Quotes” feature returns next week.)

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Election Day is fast approaching, and we want to make sure that candidates include young children and families in their education agendas. So, from now until the Friday before Election Day, I will run a question of the week to ask candidates running for state and federal office. The regular Friday “In Quotes” feature will return after Election Day.

Meanwhile, check out “Eight questions about young children to ask candidates” that I suggest in a post on MassMoms.com, on the (Worcester) Telegram & Gazette website. And see the Election 2012 page on our website. It provides tips for voters on how to focus attention on high-quality early education and reading proficiency this campaign season and information for candidates interested in becoming champions for young children.

Here is this week’s question:

The early education field suffers from low pay and high turnover. And as early educators, particularly those in community-based settings, increase their education and training, their pay is not keeping up. What will you do to link increased compensation for early educators with increased training?

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Election Day is fast approaching, and we want to make sure that candidates include young children and families in their education agendas. So, from now until the Friday before Election Day, I will run a question of the week to ask candidates running for state and federal office. The regular Friday “In Quotes” feature will return after Election Day.

Meanwhile, check out “Eight questions about young children to ask candidates” that I suggest in a post on MassMoms.com, on the (Worcester) Telegram & Gazette website. And see the Election 2012 page on our website. It provides tips for voters on how to focus attention on high-quality early education and reading proficiency this campaign season and information for candidates interested in becoming champions for young children.

Here is this week’s question:

A recent report from Child Care Aware finds that in 35 states and the District of Columbia the annual cost for center-based care exceeds a year’s in-state tuition and fees at a four-year public college. Once again, Massachusetts has the highest annual costs in the nation for both 4-year-olds and infants in full-time center-based care. What will you do to make early education and care more affordable for families?

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Election Day is fast approaching, and we want to make sure that candidates include young children and families in their education agendas. So, from now until the Friday before Election Day, I will run a question of the week to ask candidates running for state and federal office. The regular Friday “In Quotes” feature will return after Election Day.

Meanwhile, check out “Eight questions about young children to ask candidates” that I suggest in a new post on MassMoms.com, on the (Worcester) Telegram & Gazette website. And see the Election 2012 page on our website. It provides tips for voters on how to focus attention on high-quality early education and reading proficiency this campaign season and information for candidates interested in becoming champions for young children.

Here is this week’s question:

Just as young children need effective teachers in their first years in our public schools, they also need effective teachers in their early learning settings. Research finds that young children learn best in classrooms led by early educators with bachelor’s degrees and specialized training. What will you do support the professional development of early educators returning to school and the training of people entering the field?

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