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New Research on Behavior and Academic Achievement in Kindergarten

January 26, 2012

When researchers and policymakers talk about closing “achievement gaps,” they are usually referring to gaps in academic performance correlated with students’ socioeconomic statuses. Now a new study suggests that classroom behavior problems may be, in fact, an even more significant factor than family income on students’ test scores, as early as kindergarten.

Calif. Budget Proposal Would Kill ‘Transitional Kindergarten’

January 17, 2012

Today we feature a guest post from Linda Jacobson, veteran education reporter and author of the policy paper, On the Cusp in California.

Just as school districts across California have started to phase in the state’s new “transitional kindergarten” for 4- and 5-year-olds, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is proposing to eliminate funding for the classes, saying now is not the time for “program expansions.”

10 Hot Spots in Early Ed for 2012

January 12, 2012
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Each January, Early Ed Watch predicts the hot spots for the coming year -- issues that will dominate discussions in early education policy and trigger halleluiahs or handwringing from advocates of better investments in early learning, birth through third grade.

Why EReading With Your Kid Can Impede Learning

  • By
  • Lisa Guernsey,
  • New America Foundation
December 20, 2011 |

A sizeable number of young kids will be getting e-readers this Christmas. Though not everyone is plunging in –  The New York Times recently reported that some adults are eschewing them for their children even while they embrace them for themselves – the appeal to parents is strong, especially when marketers pitch the devices as on-ramps to literacy.

The Top Early Ed News of 2011

December 21, 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, we took a few minutes to review the progress – and pitfalls – of early childhood education news over the year. So before we jump into another year of news and analysis, here’s a look at some of the major stories featured on Early Ed Watch this year. Happy New Year!

NCLB Waivers: Scrounging for Early Ed

December 15, 2011

To prompt changes that it believes will improve schools, the U.S. Department of Education is promising to loosen requirements under No Child Left Behind if states can demonstrate a commitment to the departments’ favored policies. 

The shame is that investing in high-quality early education is not one of them.  

Podcast: The False Choice Between Play and Learning

December 12, 2011
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Among early learning advocates, the fate of play continues to be hotly debated. In the past few months, several articles have stoked the conversation, including an article in Scientific American MInd questioning whether preschool includes enough playtime and a piece in The Washington Post about the District of Columbia Public Schools adopting a play-based curriculum called "Tools of the Mind" for its 3, 4 and 5 year olds.  The first piece seems to reinforce the misconception that preschool will replace play.  The latter article describes a program that envisions classrooms in which playful learning and intentional teaching co-exist.

To learn more about the relationship between play and learning, we invited Annie Murphy Paul -- journalist, author and mother of young children -- to talk with us about what she has uncovered in the reporting of her forthcoming book, Brilliant: The New Science of Smart.

Early Ed: The False Choice Between Play and Learning

December 12, 2011

Among early learning advocates, the fate of play continues to be hotly debated.

Tech in Toyland: A New America Conversation

December 9, 2011

Let’s admit it, education policy can be a bit dry. But when the holidays roll around, discussions about what’s best for children shift to the glittering spectacle of toyland, with animated discussions about whether to actually give our tots what they’ve asked for.

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