Don't miss our page dedicated to coverage of ESEA, which includes links to recommendations from many organizations including a letter to Congress signed by 15 national research and advocacy organizations and drafted here at the New America Foundation.
Last Friday, the First Five Years Fund hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill on the role of early learning in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Researchers and policymakers discussed what states are doing to build successful early childhood systems—and how ESEA (often called No Child Left Behind) could better support this work.
“Each child who is touched by public funding should have a chance for learning and development,” said Jennifer Stedron, executive director of Colorado’s Early Childhood Leadership Commission.
The room was filled with a sense of excitement over the possibility of changes to the law and the momentum that education reformers are building at large. But still, no one was sure where or how early ed will eventually fit into the renewed ESEA.
“We’re beginning to see dramatic investments from states in early learning,” said Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. His take: It’s time for the federal government to follow suit and invest as well.
Early Ed Watch’s ongoing coverage of the possible ESEA reauthorization will continue as we look for signs of what policymakers are including in their proposals for reform.
Those interested in our thoughts on how early learning could be better incorporated into ESEA should take a look at our consensus recommendations to the Senate HELP committee, which the Early Education Initiative authored last spring with the help of 15 national research and advocacy groups.
In February, we published an issue brief, "12 Ideas for Early Education in the 112th Congress," with additional policy recommendations, including suggestions on how to incorporate early learning into initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and how to fix the adequate-yearly-progress (AYP) provisions to be fairer to elementary schools that recognize the importance of early learning.