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Early Ed Watch

A Blog from New America's Early Education Initiative

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Getting Serious About Improving Head Start: 132 Grantees Not Measuring Up

December 21, 2011

For scores of agencies serving children around the country, the letter they feared has finally arrived:  A notice went out this week alerting 132 organizations, city agencies and school districts that they are not measuring up to the Office of Head Start’s standards for quality.  Large agencies in Los Angeles and New York were among them.

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!

The Future of Race to the Top

December 21, 2011

This week's National Journal Education Experts blog asks about the future of the Department of Education's Race to the Top competition:

What is the future for Race to the Top? Could this be the end? With limited funding, what happens to the concept of competitive grants? Are competitions like Race to the Top an appropriate way to drive public policy? Does the Education Department's grant program work better when it has more money and is financing larger projects? Or is it a better use of funds and leverage when the grants are tailored to more specific goals?

E-Toys and E-Books: When Interaction Goes Bad

December 21, 2011

Those who follow the science of early learning know that children's interactions, whether with their environment or with teachers and parents, are a critical foundation for their learning. So it may not come as a surprise to read an article I submitted this week to TIME magazine's online opinion section. But for those of us – I'm guilty too – who can become enraptured by new technologies and their potential for education, it might offer some food for thought.

20 Communities Awarded 2011 Grants for Promise Neighborhoods

December 20, 2011

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education announced 20 winners of the 2011 Promise Neighborhoods grants. This year, in addition to 15 small planning grants to help communities plot out future promise neighborhoods, the Department of Education awarded five larger “implementation grants” of between $1.4 and $5.9 million dollars for fiscal year 2011.

Final FY12 Budget: The Highlights for Early Education

December 19, 2011

The Senate voted on Saturday morning to pass the omnibus year-end spending bill, passed Friday by the House, and the result is good for early education.

Surprises in 9 Winners of the Early Learning Challenge

December 16, 2011

Pennsylvania, long regarded as a leader in coordinating its early learning services, didn’t win. Neither did Oklahoma, famous for its state-funded pre-K program.  Instead, the winners included North Carolina, a state suffering big cuts in early childhood funding this year, as well as California, which doesn’t yet have a fully functional quality rating system for child care and pre-kindergarten programs.

How Would States Include the Early Grades in their RTT – ELC Work?

December 15, 2011

As we said in our last post on the Early Learning Challenge, 18 of the 37 applicants decided to write specifically about their states’ plans to sustain and build upon early learning outcomes throughout the early grades of elementary school.

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