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Our Official Comments on Federal Data Collection on Pre-K

February 12, 2013

Last week we alerted our readers to a call from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, for comments on their proposal to collect data for the annual State of Preschool Survey. The National Institute for Early Education Research has administered this data collection, which they have used in their invaluable pre-K “yearbooks,” since 2003.

A PreK-3rd Spotlight on Union City, NJ

February 11, 2013
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In education policy, where so much of the focus is on how much is wrong with today’s schools, it’s refreshing to see examples of something going right. In an op-ed yesterday in the New York Times, David Kirp writes about what he found after spending a year in Union City, N.J., where children are achieving at a very high rate despite coming from poverty and living in families where English is a second language.

Ideas Requested on Gov’t Proposal to Start Collecting Data on Pre-K

February 6, 2013

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, is proposing to collect data for the annual State of Preschool Survey, which for the last nine years has been administered by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER).  Public comments on this proposal are due February 12.

Media, Language Development and Cascading Effects

January 31, 2013
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Until I became immersed in research on child development, I thought learning to read was a project confined to the years of kindergarten, first and second grade. But as countless studies have shown, preparing the brain to read starts long before a child has formal reading instruction. No wonder, then, that our country is full of campaigns to encourage parents to read books with their toddlers. No wonder parents today are told to engage their kids in back-and-forth conversations about pictures on the page. 

Education Ranking Systems Are Based on Varying Measures of Success

January 28, 2013

Three organizations recently released new education rankings of states. Education Week’s Quality Counts is a comprehensive analysis of states’ education policies and student outcomes, conducted by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center.

Final Webinar in PreK-3rd Series: Policies for Scaling Up Reforms

January 28, 2013
Part of PreK-3rd Grade National Work Group Logo

For nearly a year, the PreK-3rd Grade National Work Group has hosted free webinars on how to reduce the achievement gap by focusing on children’s early years: pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second and third grades. The last of these webinars, Scale and Sustainability: Implications for State and District Policy, will be held this Wednesday, Jan. 30, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EST.

Questions Swirling Around Obama’s Second-Term Steps on Early Learning

January 22, 2013
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As President Obama gave his second inaugural address yesterday, many of us couldn’t help but linger over these words:  “We are true to our creed,” Obama said, “when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.” 

At National Journal: MET Project leaves out PreK-3rd teachers

January 18, 2013

This week's National Journal Education Experts blog asks about the big takeaways from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's MET study on effective teaching. My colleagues Lisa Guernsey, director of the Early Education Initiative, and Anne Hyslop, education policy analyst, weighed in. 

At Huffington Post: Turnaround 2.0: Solutions in Pre-K to Third Grade to Help Failing Schools

January 18, 2013

In a post for the Huffington Post's Education blog, I wrote about the Early Education Initiative's event on January 14 that highlighted three promising strategies for turning around low-performing schools: FirstSchool, AppleTree's Every Child Ready and Cincinnati's

Governors, Here’s What to Add to Your ‘State of the State’ Speeches

January 14, 2013
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January is often when governors signal what they plan to do in the coming year, and education is a perennial topic in “State of the State” addresses. What can they say they haven’t said before? Plenty.  A white paper published by the National Governor’s Association last fall has loads of ideas for what to say -- and do.

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