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Archive for the ‘Higher Education’ Category

Photo source: UMass Boston press release.

 

“A record number of people—more than 100—attended the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation‘s fifth annual Leadership Forum on Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice on Saturday, May 19.

“The day celebrated graduates of the leadership institute’s early educator leadership programs, provided a platform for ECE practitioners to discuss leadership for change and innovation in the field, and facilitated dialogue about advancing leadership pathways in early education and care in Massachusetts.

Executive Director Anne Douglass noted in her welcoming remarks that ECE providers have historically been overlooked when it comes to driving change in the field despite the fact that they are the experts who do the work every day.

“ ‘Too often early childhood educators are thought of as objects of change, rather than change agents,” said Douglass.’ ”

“ ‘How do we build a movement around our leadership?’ Douglass asked the crowd. ‘The people who are going to fix this problem are in this room.’ ”

“Leadership Forum Draws Record Participation, Spurs Conversations About Early Care and Education,” University of Massachusetts Boston, May 23, 2018

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Photo source: Mayor Emanuel’s Instagram page.

 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has a new preschool plan “to make free full-day preschool available to all Chicago 4-year-olds within four years,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

Chicago joins New York and other cities in pressing forward.

“Early education is a necessity for every child, not a luxury for some children,” Emanuel said in a press release. “Universal full-day pre-kindergarten ensures that every child in Chicago, regardless of their family’s resources, gets the great start that all children deserve.”

Emanuel says the program will close the achievement gap and have a generational impact on the city, helping children grow into better educated citizens.

The first step: (more…)

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“Leading the Way,” is a series featuring the next generation of leaders in the field of early education and care.

Ola Friday

Ola Friday grew up with educators. Her mother was a teacher and an assistant principal, and her father was a teacher. Friday knew she wanted to be in education, but when the time came to choose between Teach for America or a policy fellowship, she was excited about policy.

“What we know from early childhood is that you get your greatest return on investment when you invest in the education of our youngest children,” Friday says. “From a policy and analytical perspective, it just makes sense to be invested in this work.”

Friday invested herself into the work. She earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also took classes in the education school. She studied with David Kirp, an emeritus professor of public policy who also writes about early education.

Friday went on to work in New York City, helping to develop and implement QUALITYstarsNY, the city’s first quality rating and improvement system. She moved on to Pennsylvania where she helped overhaul the early childhood education career ladder. And along the way, she earned a Doctor of Education Leadership degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. (more…)

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“Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are giving $30 million to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to tackle one of the most perplexing problems in education — low literacy rates among elementary school students — officials announced Tuesday.

“A cornerstone of the five-year initiative, Reach Every Reader , will be the development of a Web-based screening tool, which could be used by districts nationwide, that aims to speed up the identification of kindergartners at high risk for reading difficulty. The screening tool will attempt to determine why students are struggling and will offer interventions that teachers and families can use to help children become stronger readers.

“The initiative also hopes to shift the conversation about poor literacy away from third-grade reading scores toward younger students. Officials believe early intervention can have the most profound effect on turning students into proficient readers.”

“Zuckerberg, Chan donate $30 million to literacy effort,” James Vaznis, The Boston Globe, March 6, 2018

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

In an increasingly bilingual world, Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) has an innovative program for training multilingual early educators.

For five years, QCC’s Dual Language Program has offered courses that are taught in English and Spanish to family childcare providers. Classes are offered during the day and at night to give students scheduling flexibility.

Connecting family child care providers to higher education is crucial work because these early educators are typically working on their own in their homes — where they may not have easy access to colleagues or to the onsite college classes that some center-based providers offer.

The goal of the dual language program “is to impart early childhood content first in the student’s native language with a gradual increase of English proficiency over the four course sequence,” QCC’s website explains.

According to Charlene Mara, QCC’s Early Childhood Education program manager, “It’s important to remember who the childcare providers are servicing. They are servicing many English-speaking children, so it’s very important to be proficient in English, as well as their native language.” (more…)

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This week we’re focusing on the early education workforce.

And today, we’re throwing back to 2011 when we released this video about early educator Doreen Anzalone.

She graduated from Everett High School in 1978.

She began working in early education and care in 1986.

And she got a scholarship and went to college in 2002.

Hers is a story of passion and persistence.

Take a look.

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

“Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?” journalist Jeneen Interlandi asks in the title of a recent New York Times Magazine article.

The article tells the story of Kejo Kelly, an early educator in Springfield, Mass., who is devoted to her work despite earning a low salary, weathering personal tragedies, and covering for absent colleagues.

“The community Kelly taught in was low-income by all the standard metrics,” the article says. “Many of her students came from single-parent households — some from teenage mothers, at least one from foster care — and nearly all of them qualified for state-funded child care vouchers.”

Teachers at Kelly’s preschool program earn some $10 per hour, and staff turnover is high. The preschool can afford to “cover basics like food and art supplies but not enough to pay for on-site behavioral specialists or occupational therapists.” That’s why:

“Kelly kept her own fractured vigil — taking note of which students couldn’t control their emotions, or sit still for the life of them, or engage with others in a meaningful way — and giving those students whatever extra attention could be spared. She sometimes imagined the classroom as a bubble, inside which her students were temporarily spared from the hazards of everyday life. Her job, as she saw it, was to hold that bubble open for the ones who couldn’t always hold it open themselves.” (more…)

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