Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children
What makes a high-quality preschool or out-of-school-time space?
Lots of things, including natural light and fresh paint; engaging spaces where children can play, read, or try on hats and costumes; a good heating and cooling system; easy access to fully equipped outdoor play spaces; and modern, functional bathrooms.
Unfortunately, a 2011 report from the Children’s Investment Fund (CIF) revealed that a number of early education and out-of-school-time programs were located in problematic spaces. Deficiencies ranged from holes in the ceiling and leaking toilets to poor air quality and outdoor play spaces that were really just parking lots.
Thanks, however, to the advocacy work of CIF and others, the Massachusetts Legislature used the 2013 Housing and Community Development Bond Bill to create the new $45 million Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund. Continue Reading »
Posted in Dept. of Early Education and Care, Facilities, Funding, MA governor, MA Legislature, MA state budget, Pre-kindergarten | Leave a Comment »
Chris Martes, Strategies for Children’s president and CEO, has a new article out in the latest edition of CommonWealth Magazine.
In “A chance to lead on early education,” Martes writes that Massachusetts can be a national role model by building strong pre-K programs. This would prepare more children for lifelong success and set an example for other states.
“From the White House to business boardrooms to the offices of scores of Republican and Democratic mayors, governors, and members of Congress, we’re seeing historic momentum on expanding and improving preschool programs,” Martes writes.
“It is in this spirit of historic potential that we welcome Gov. Charlie Baker to the State House. He and his team have the opportunity to break new ground.”
Pre-K Helps Improve K-12
“The Commonwealth needs strong K-12 schools. But having served for nearly two decades as a school superintendent and as an interim superintendent in five Massachusetts communities, I can tell you that K-12 schools cannot reform education on their own,” Martes explains. “There’s too much work to do. Too many achievement gaps are already in place on the first day that children walk into kindergarten. Continue Reading »
Posted in Achievement gap, Boston, K-12, MA governor, MA Legislature, MA state budget, Pre-K to 3, Pre-kindergarten, Reading proficiency, Research, Strategies for Children | Leave a Comment »
Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children
Education Week magazine has released its Quality Counts 2015 report. It is a sweeping collection of articles and data that provide a thorough look at the educational opportunities and challenges that the country faces.
The subtitle of this year’s report is “Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown,” highlighting the report’s focus on early education research and practice at the national, state, and local levels.
Noting in a press release that “support for early-childhood education has become a rare point of consensus along the ideological and political spectrum,” EdWeek points out that this consensus is only a starting point. There are still “disagreements over funding strategies and policy approaches threaten to unravel tenuous alliances that have bridged the partisan divide.”
Specifically, the report looks at how “new academic demands and accountability pressures are reshaping the learning environment for young children and the teachers and administrators serving them.” Education Week journalists explored:
- the policy debates surrounding publicly funded programs
– cutting-edge research on the early years, and,
– the academic and technological challenges that await the nation’s youngest learners Continue Reading »
Posted in Developmentally appropriate practice, Full-day kindergarten, K-12, National, Pre-K to 3, Pre-kindergarten, Research | 1 Comment »
“Our actions will be heard in many ways. But the loudest of these actions will initially be in dealing with an immediate budget deficit, building a job-creating economy, closing the achievement gap, confronting opiate addiction and revitalizing our urban centers.”
Governor Charlie Baker in his inauguration speech, January 8, 2015
* * *
“Consider this: If we were to put the right policies and resources in place we can make sure every child born is given the support he or she needs, from prenatal care to early childhood education to quality schools and higher education opportunities free of crushing debt, we could transform the Commonwealth in a generation. In a quarter century, we could dramatically diminish many of the problems that saddle both individuals and the Commonwealth as [a] whole: chronic unemployment, workforce shortages, lack of opportunity. In their place: a generation of fully employed, prosperous young people, imbued with a sense of opportunity and possibility. A generation sharing in our collective prosperity.”
Massachusetts State Senator President Stanley C. Rosenberg’s address to the State Senate, January 7, 2015
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Photo Source: Charlie Baker’s Facebook page
Today, Charlie Baker is going to be sworn in as the new governor of Massachusetts.
It’s an exciting time for Baker who has spent years working in Massachusetts state government. Among his jobs: secretary of health and human services and secretary of administration and finance.
Now Baker moves into the executive office, and his “inaugural events — built on the ‘Let’s be great, Massachusetts’ theme of his campaign — will include an interfaith service and concert,” the Boston Globe says, adding:
“When Baker moves into his office on the third floor of the State House, he’ll honor one of his predecessors by placing his or her portrait over the mantel.”
Baker also received four parting gifts that, the Globe explains, “traditionally pass from the outgoing governor to the successor.” They are:
1. The pewter key to the governor’s office
2. Former governor Benjamin Butler’s Bible, which he first bestowed in 1884
3. The governor’s gavel, made from oak taken from the USS Constitution, and,
4. The Massachusetts General Statutes, in which the departing governor usually inscribes a message to the governor-elect
The inauguration will include residents and organizations from around the state. According to the Lowell Sun, “The Angkor Dance Troupe won’t be the only Lowell institution to represent the city at Gov.-elect Charlie Baker’s inauguration Continue Reading »
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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children
This afternoon, Deval Patrick is scheduled to take the traditional “Lone Walk” down the steps of the State House to end his two terms as governor.
As a State House News article explains, “Meant to symbolize the governor rejoining the Commonwealth as a private citizen, the departing governor traditionally walks by himself out the front gates of the State House, which are opened for foreign dignitaries, a visiting U.S. president, and for the governor’s walk.”
“The walk… traditionally takes place the morning of the inauguration, but former Gov. Mitt Romney broke with that tradition in 2007 by doing it the night before to give Patrick the spotlight the next day.”
The article adds: “‘When Governor Patrick was reflecting on his experience with Governor Romney, he felt his inauguration was very special and with the way Governor Romney handled it, he wanted to extend the same courtesy,’ said Patrick administration transition director Brian Gosselin.”
So Patrick is taking the walk today to let Governor-elect Charlie Baker have the spotlight tomorrow during his inauguration. Continue Reading »
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