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Archive for the ‘National’ Category

 

How hard is it to get from preschool to kindergarten?

According to Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman, many children find themselves moving from one silo to the next.

“Too often government officials design programs for children as if they lived their lives in silos, as if each stage of a child’s life were independent of the other, unconnected to what came before or what lies ahead.”

A new report — Transitions and Alignment: From Preschool to Kindergarten — released by the Education Commission of the States shares this Heckman quote and looks at how some policymakers and educators are replacing silos with more promising pathways that help children travel safely from infancy to adulthood.

“If this transition does not go well,” the report says, “children can be turned off to learning and school at an early age.”

The report points to two strategies for promoting children’s success: (more…)

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Source: Strategies for Children

 

Full-day kindergarten – some children have access to it, but across the country many don’t.

In fact, “less than third of all states even require full-day kindergarten,” Education Week reports, adding:

“That’s one of the findings in a 50-state comparison guide to policies surrounding kindergarten through 3rd grade…” The guide was released by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Education Commission of the States.

“The newly updated report, which was released last month, finds that that only 15 states and the District of Columbia require full-day kindergarten.”

As the Children’s Defense Fund argues, “Unequal access to publicly funded full-day and full-week, high-quality kindergarten means too many young children lose a critical opportunity to develop and strengthen foundational skills necessary for success in school and lifelong learning.” (more…)

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A new study published in PLOS ONE by researchers from New York University “examined the long-term impacts of an early childhood program called the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) and found evidence suggesting that the program positively affected children’s executive function and academic achievement during adolescence.”

“ ‘Although we did not find large impacts on all of the outcomes assessed, the positive results for executive function and academic achievement were certainly encouraging,’ said lead author and Research Assistant Professor, Tyler Watts. ‘We think these results suggest that high-quality programs can produce important effects on key long-term outcomes.’ ”

“ ‘Many recent early childhood interventions have found that effects fade in the years immediately following the end of the program,’ Watts explained. ‘Unfortunately, most of these studies have not continued to follow-up with participants past elementary school. Our results suggest that if we expect early programs to produce long-lasting results, then we should keep looking at outcomes at least into adolescence.’ ”

“NYU Study Uncovers Connections Between Early Childhood Programs and Teenage Outcomes,” New York University, July 16, 2018

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“Now is the time to have a very strong, successful launch and expansion of early childhood education,” Greg Canfield, Alabama’s Secretary of Commerce, says in “Starting at Zero,” a new video from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation.

The video includes current and former governors, a philanthropist, a businessman, and academics from Stanford University and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, home of the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative.

“For every 10 children in the U.S., six have access to some early education before kindergarten,” Harvard’s Nonie Lesaux says in the video. However, “Only two of those six are in a setting that we would consider high-quality.” 

Among the video’s other key points:

• education is economic development

• the inter-generational impact of early childhood education helps children and their parents move ahead

• the social and emotional skills that early childhood education fosters are especially important given that people often have less face-to-face contact, and

• new governors are in a unique position to become early education champions

Check out the video and share it on your social media networks.

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Child Care Aware of America and the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment collaborated to produce a new, short video that answers the question: “Why Do Parents Spend So Much on Child Care, Yet Early Childhood Educators Earn So Little?” 

Read more about the video by clicking here.

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

The first of a three-part series on summer learning.

It’s summer! The perfect time for kids to eat hot dogs, swim, and, forget big chunks of what they learned in school – especially math.

It’s a problem that parents, teachers, academics, and think tanks have pointed to; and this spring, the Herald-Tribune reported on summer learning loss – also known as “summer slide” – noting:

“While school is out, kids can lose up to two to three months of the skills they learned in the classroom that year.

“And while summer slide disproportionately affects low-income families who can’t afford high-quality summer camps that build on the reading and math skills learned in the classroom, all kids are at risk.”

Back in 1906, William White found the same problem when he conducted a very small study. A math teacher at the State Normal School, in New Paltz, New York, White tested the math skills of 15 fourth and eighth grade students in June and then tested them again in September. (more…)

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Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

 

Every day, early educators go into classrooms and sing, read, teach, and play. They also accept a raw deal: demanding work for low pay.

How bad is it? According to the new 2018 Early Childhood Workforce Index, released by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley:

“While a major goal of early childhood services has been to relieve poverty among children, many of these same efforts continue to generate poverty in the early care and education (ECE) workforce…”

“Any woman doing ‘women’s work’ is not seen as skilled,” Marcy Whitebook told the Hechinger Report. Whitebook is the co-director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of the 2018 Early Childhood Workforce Index. “We have a history… of relying on poor women and women of color to take care of children of people who have more resources.” (more…)

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