Archive for the ‘Strategies for Children’ Category
Born and raised in Sacramento, Calif., Mariama Grimes has spent the last few years in Cambridge braving the cold and attending the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed. L.D.) program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).
Now Mariama has joined Strategies for Children for the next ten months to lead a project in support of SFC’s strategic plan implementation and local community work. This year-long residency is an experience that culminates with a dissertation. We’re happy to welcome her aboard, and we look forward to the outreach work she’ll be doing in various communities.
“I’ve always been interested in politics,” Mariama said in a recent interview, explaining that as a kid she had playing cards that featured politicians rather than baseball stars. In addition, Mariama’s father, Roy Grimes, was involved in educational policy in California, serving as president of the Sacramento County School Board and of the Sacramento City Unified School District. (more…)
From magnifying glasses and computers to blocks and counting, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) can be a powerful part of early education settings. To capitalize on this potential, Massachusetts has invested in STEM programs, and it is sharing the resulting resources.
In fiscal year 2014, the state budget included $250,000 to develop innovative preschool curriculum with a STEM focus. The Department of Early Education and Care used the money to award five grants to providers and community partners statewide, including the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, MA, which enrolled 40 students in a new STEM preschool located at the museum.
The resulting resources — curriculum guides and other materials — are published online in English, Spanish, and other languages on the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s STEM Nexus webpage.
The investment in STEM comes at an important time in children’s life. As a Strategies for Children research brief notes:
“Young children are naturally inquisitive learners who ask an average of 76 questions per hour. Young children are also natural scientists—they make sense of the world around them by making predictions, checking them, and using evidence to make inductions and deductions.” (more…)
A new poll has found widespread, bipartisan support for expanding pre-K in the commonwealth.
“Massachusetts voters are strongly supportive of spending measures designed to expand access to high-quality pre-K,” according to a memo describing the results of the poll.
“Not only do voters support spending to improve access to pre-K, but they believe the state should invest significant resources in the effort. Majorities of both Democrats and Republicans support spending at least $250 million, as do majorities of every demographic group.”
Voters also “believe expanding access is essential to giving kids from lower-income families a fair chance of keeping up in school.”
The poll is based on a March telephone survey of 605 Massachusetts voters, and designed to be representative of the population of registered voters in the state. The survey was conducted by Anderson Robbins Research, and commissioned by Stand for Children on behalf of the Pre-K for MA Coalition. The coalition — which is led by Strategies for Children and by Stand for Children — “is a coalition of education, business, and civic leaders who know that early education and care can help close the state’s achievement gap and create more opportunities for disadvantaged children.” (more…)
Posted in Dept. of Early Education and Care, Early educators, Full-day kindergarten, Funding, MA Legislature, MA state budget, Pre-kindergarten, Strategies for Children on May 14, 2015 | Leave a Comment »
On Tuesday of this week, the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means released a $38 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2016. The proposal represents a 3.1 percent spending increase over FY15. It relies on $572 million in one-time funds and does not recommend any tax changes.
The committee’s proposal is themed “Lifting All Families,” and “makes targeted investments to foster shared prosperity, encourage overall economic growth and create new opportunities for people in all corners of our commonwealth.”
Among these targeted investments are increases to early education and care. The Department of Early Education and Care and its programs are funded at $545.51 million, roughly $6 million higher than in the House of Representatives’ FY16 budget. This includes a $12 million investment to serve children on the state’s income eligible waiting list for early education and care subsidies. The Senate proposal also consolidates two major subsidy access accounts, Supportive Child Care and TANF. (more…)
How do you make progress in education reform? By tackling the tough question of how to pay for it.
This was the topic yesterday at the Union Club in downtown Boston where the Building on What Works Coalition hosted a panel discussion called “Financing Education Reform: The Next Chapter.”
“Time is of the essence in making progress,” Tripp Jones said, welcoming the audience of nearly 150 people. “We felt it was important to say, look, there are communities ready to move,” on education reform. They just need access to funding.
Jones is a board member and the co-founder of the nonprofit think tank MassINC, which is part of the Building on What Works Coalition along with Massachusetts 2020, the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, and Strategies for Children. (more…)