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Archive for the ‘Strategies for Children’ Category

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode

Enjoy the holiday.

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

Many organizations are keeping an eye on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the federal K-12 education law that replaces No Child Left Behind.

But CEELO (the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes) is looking explicitly at how states’ early education programs can help enhance ESSA.

CEELO is one of “22 Comprehensive Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education,” and its goal is to “strengthen the capacity of State Education Agencies (SEAs) to lead sustained improvements in early learning opportunities and outcomes” by promoting “innovation and accountability.”

A good starting point for learning more about ESSA is the list of resources that CEELO has on its website. (more…)

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

The country has a new president-elect, and big changes are in store for Washington. What does this mean for Massachusetts and the issue of high-quality early education and care? Here’s our initial recap of news headlines from around the web.

“Incumbents in the Massachusetts Legislature put on a strong showing across the state Tuesday night as House and Senate lawmakers from both parties defended their seats and the Massachusetts Republican Party flipped one seat on the Cape in an open race,” according to a State House News story that ran in the Lowell Sun.

MassLive.com has election results posted here. (more…)

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Image: Screenshot from NAEYC's website

Image: Screenshot from NAEYC’s website

 

Turn off the television news for a while and tune into an inspiring election that’s all about children: NAEYC’s election for its 2017 Governing Board.

Here’s how the election process works:

“As a membership association governed by an elected board, NAEYC is committed to diverse leadership on the Governing Board. The slate for each year’s election is identified by the Nominating Panel. Candidates are chosen to reflect broad knowledge and awareness of the issues facing the Association. They are selected for their ability to objectively consider the variety of perspectives inherent in decisions affecting the Association’s future, not to represent a particular group, region, or interest.”  (more…)

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Policy is changing for K-12 schools.

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

Chris Martes, president and CEO of Strategies for Children. Photo: Alyssa Haywoode

Here in Massachusetts, districts and schools are unpacking newly released MCAS and PARCC scores and deciphering what these scores mean for learning and accountability. At the same time, Massachusetts is developing a next-generation MCAS that will be administered in the spring.

On the federal level, the “No Child Left Behind” law was reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); and state officials are working on our plan for this new law.

All of this is activity is important, but K-12 can’t achieve the success we all want without integrating early learning.

Learning begins at birth; the research on this point is clear. Children need a strong early learning foundation and a range of supportive efforts that stretch through their first eight years, from birth to third grade.

Despite the proven power of early learning, there are very few government mandates to provide these early learning supports. This absence does, however, (more…)

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Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Early education policies are all over the map — literally and figuratively. While some states are making big investments in very young children, others lag behind.

How are specific states doing? The Ounce of Prevention Fund, a national advocacy organization, takes a look in its August 2016 State Policy Update. It’s a “mini-update” that “provides a snapshot of early childhood care and education budget and policy changes in states during the 2016 legislative sessions as of July 2016.”

This year, “numerous states across the country made major policy changes and investments that advanced access to high-quality early learning programs,” The Ounce says, pointing to:

• Rhode Island, where “codified key elements of the state’s home visiting system” became law “through the passage of The Rhode Island Family Home Visiting Act. The state’s Department of Health is required to work with other state agencies to identify vulnerable families and offer them the opportunity to enroll in evidence-based home visiting programs.”

• In Nebraska, tax credits abound. “The School Readiness Tax Credit Act will create two new state tax credits… for early childhood programs and individual early childhood professionals in 2017.” (more…)

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Photo: Wrentham Public Schools

Photo: Wrentham Public Schools

A message from Chris Martes, president and CEO of Strategies for Children (SFC).

“As September starts, children and families across Massachusetts are heading back to school. Even programs that run for a full calendar year are enrolling new children and families and supporting these children as they make this transition. Some children are starting kindergarten and entering an elementary school for the first time. Some children are also entering a classroom for the first time because they’ve had no prior preschool experience. Indeed, national, state, and local data confirm that there is great variation in young children’s experiences during their first five years, and this is, unfortunately, where achievement gaps take root.

“There has been great interest in expanding high-quality early education opportunities for children in the commonwealth. Legislators filed several bills to do this work, however comprehensive pre-K expansion did not become state law this past legislative session. The state’s revenue picture remains challenging, and without additional revenue expanding access to high-quality early education and care will be difficult. (more…)

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