Will this be the year for reauthorization of the law once known as No Child Left Behind? Could some of the law's policies be changed to improve the odds for high-quality early learning programs and the children they serve? Will new attention be paid to pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second and third grades?
As we watch for movement on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, these are the questions on our minds here at the Early Education Initiative and within Early Ed Watch. Over the past several months, we have produced recommendations for the U.S. Department of Education, blogs posts about the law's School Improvement Grant program and the implications of the admnistration's push for "college and career-ready standards." We've called out the lack of explicit attention to early learning in the Blueprint for Reform, the Obama administration's outline for reauthorizing the law. We've been helping to craft a series of consensus recommendations for pertinent committees in both the U.S.House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate as they prepare to mark up a draft of what the new law might look like. And we wrote an op-ed, published by USA Today, contending that education reform must start with the expansion and improvement of early learning programs that touch children from birth through third grade.
To make it easier for our readers to find all of these pieces, we have created a new page -- Early Learning in ESEA -- under the Early Education Initiative banner. Check it out here, and spread the word. We truly welcome input and hope that this blog can provide a space for continued conversation about how the law should be changed.