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At National Journal: President's Plan is More than Pre-K

March 1, 2013
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Last week's National Journal Education Experts blog asks whether the president’s plan to expand all 4-year-olds access to high quality pre-K is a step in the right direction.

I say yes. His plan gives weight to the idea that we should no longer think of education as a K-12 system, but instead as a PreK-12 system.

Facing Up to Fade-Out: About Preschool and the Birth-to-Third-Grade Continuum

February 25, 2013

This morning, The Atlantic published a commentary I wrote with my colleague Laura Bornfreund about facing up to "fade-out." The article describes why, if Obama's preschool plan is to gain momentum, it would be smart to proceed with a two-pronged approach: give children deep learning experiences in their birth-to-five years and make improvements to the K-3 grades of elementary school.

Don’t Forget Full-Day Kindergarten

February 21, 2013

An under-examined aspect of President Obama’s new early childhood education plan is his proposal to encourage states to create more full-day kindergarten seats – though only after states are able to guarantee access to pre-K for all 4-year olds from low and moderate-income families.

Federal Report Finds Educational Inequities, Pushes for Access to Early Learning

February 20, 2013
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The Equity and Excellence Commission, a board established by Congress in 2010 to study school finance issues, released its final report this week, For Each and Every Child.

New Details: Obama’s Pre-K Proposal Stresses Birth through Five Continuum, Presents Political Challenges

February 14, 2013

In President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, he called on Congress to expand high-quality early learning opportunities to low- and moderate-income children. Today, with the release of a White House document and a speech at a Decatur, Ga. pre-K center, Obama sketched more of the plan’s details.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

First Thoughts on Study of Head Start's Impact on 3rd Graders

December 21, 2012

On a day that many educators and office workers are madly finishing tasks or already traveling to prepare for the holidays, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released results from a long-awaited study on whether children's gains from Head Start still show up four years after students have exited the program. 

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