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Archive for the ‘K-12’ Category

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 9.32.09 AMHow do children get to kindergarten? They might take a bus or walk with a parent.

But for policymakers the more pressing question is: How do children get from birth to kindergarten?

Have they been read to? Have they been hungry? Have they been homeless or learned to live with toothaches? Have their parents struggled with depression or addiction?

The answers are crucial and can affect whether or not a child is kindergarten-ready. The Annenberg Institute for School Reform tackles this challenge in the latest issue of VUE, its Voices in Urban Education magazine.

Part of Brown University, Annenberg is “a national policy-research and reform support organization that promotes quality education for all children, especially in urban communities.”

The guest editor for this issue is Michael Grady, the Annenberg Institute’s deputy director and an assistant professor of practice in the Urban Education Policy master’s program at Brown University.

Grady sets the stage in the lead article writing:

“With widespread support for the expansion of early education programs, there is an increased need for collaboration across systems to support the critical transition from pre-K to elementary school in order to ensure positive educational outcomes for all.” (more…)

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“In elementary schools, principals must be able to foster a school culture that values early education, to understand what high-quality teaching looks like in the early grades, and to provide useful feedback and support to early grade teachers and increasingly pre-K teachers as more elementary schools offer pre-K for three-and four-year-olds.”

“Today, we are releasing a series of six briefs titled, ‘Principal’s Corner: Perspectives on Teaching and Learning in PreK-3rd Grade,’ that explore the findings of our focus groups. Our big take away is principals recognize that pre-K and the early grades are important, but feel they lack what they need to promote high-quality teaching during these years. ”

From the article “Out Today: Principals’ Perspectives on Teaching and Learning in PreK-3rd,” New America’s EdCentral Blog, May 5, 2016

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School leaders are expanding their commitment to early education by promoting a new set of policy recommendations. It’s an enhanced allegiance between pre-K and K-12 that promises to yield important progress for children.

“While state chiefs do not have full authority over all early childhood programs, we are crucial leaders in any effort to strengthen early learning opportunities and outcomes,” according to a new policy statement from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) called, “Equity Starts Early: How Chiefs Will Build High-Quality Early Education.”

CCSSO represents the “public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states.” (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

A recent study shows that home visiting programs can dramatically improve children’s school readiness.

The study report — “Long-Term Academic Outcomes of Participation in the Parent-Child Home Program in King County, WA,” — explains:

“The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) is an intensive two-year home-visiting program aimed at increasing school readiness among young children from families who face multiple obstacles to educational and economic success, such as poverty, low literacy, limited education, and language barriers.”

Families enroll “when children are about two years old and receive two 30-minute visits per week for 23 weeks in each year of the program, for a total of 92 visits.”

The home visitor “shares a language and cultural background with the family” and “uses a non-directive approach and a high-quality toy or book, which is left as a gift for the family, to model behaviors for parents that enhance children’s development.” (more…)

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Senator Stan Rosenberg. Photo source: Senator Rosenberg's Facebook page.

Senator Stan Rosenberg. Photo source: Senator Rosenberg’s Facebook page

Children will be getting new attention from the Massachusetts Senate. Last week, the Senate announced that it’s launching a new initiative called Kids First that will work to improve the lives of the commonwealth’s children.

Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) told Boston Herald Radio that Kids First will be an effort to boost children’s resiliency and help them “become productive adults.”

Rosenberg named a group of senators who will “look at everything from education and nutrition to public health, housing and workforce development for ways to help the state’s youngest residents,” according to an AP story that ran in the Washington Times. (more…)

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Chad d'Entremont, executive director of the Rennie Center. Photo: Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy

Chad d’Entremont, executive director of the Rennie Center. Photo: Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy

 

“Cognitive and non-cognitive skills are inextricably linked,” Harvard’s Nonie Lesaux said during a panel discussion at the Condition of Education event hosted by the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy.

There’s a growing consensus in education that children can’t develop strong cognitive skills without non-cognitive “soft skills” such as focus, persistence, and getting along with others. Indeed, the two categories of skills may be more linked than we realize.


 

Last week, the Rennie Center released the findings of its 2016 “Condition of Education in the Commonwealth” report at an event in Boston’s Omni Parker House Hotel. This year’s report focused on social-emotional learning, a hot topic among educators, parents, and researchers. The topic was so hot that #COE2016 was trending on Twitter during the event.

Covering education trends from birth to college and beyond, Rennie’s work includes a focus on high-quality early education. (more…)

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President Obama raising the profile of a young learner. Photo: The White House

President Obama raising the profile of a young learner. Photo: The White House

Last month, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law, ushering in a new legislative era that includes a focus on early education.

As the Los Angeles Times explains:

“With the stroke of a pen, the No Child Left Behind Act became history on Thursday.

President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan replacement to the universally unpopular, nearly 15-year-old education law.”

According to the New York Times, ESSA is a bipartisan approach that “preserves federally mandated standardized testing but eliminates the punitive consequences for states and districts that perform poorly.”

The Times adds a quote from the president:

“‘This bill makes long-overdue fixes to the last education law, replacing the one-size-fits-all approach to reform with a commitment to provide every student with a well-rounded education,’ Mr. Obama said at a White House signing ceremony for the law. ‘With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamental American ideal that every child — regardless of race, income, background, the ZIP code where they live — deserves the chance to make out of their lives what they will.’”

(more…)

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