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A Blog from New America's Early Education Initiative

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Podcast: Connecting Obama's Preschool Proposal to School 'Turnarounds'

Published:  March 1, 2013
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See our podcast archive for dozens of podcasts on education issues, many of which focus directly on early education from birth through the third grade.

In January, we held an event called Turnaround 2.0 to draw attention to the challenge of turning around elementary schools without improving the early years – including the early grades of elementary school – when children are building their foundational skills for academic success. Now that we have seen the outlines of President Obama's preschool proposal, these questions are hotter than ever. Depending on how and if Obama's plan moves forward, improvements to elementary schools may come more easily (though, no doubt, much work would still be required to improve instruction across the PreK-3rd grades.)

In this podcast, we talk with one of the panelists from our Turnaround 2.0 event: Sam Oertwig, director of implementation for the FirstSchool and an investigator for the Frank Porter Graham Institute at the University of North Carolina. FirstSchool is an on-the-ground, multi-year initiative already underway in elementary schools across North Carolina and Michigan to bring professional development to teachers and principals.  During the event, Oertwig described how and why FirstSchool works, but she did not have time to talk about state and federal policies that would enable projects like hers to proliferate around the country.  In this podcast, we pick her brain for recommendations for making positive changes.

This podcast is posted as part of New America's new think-tank-wide blog, In The Tank. Every two weeks , In the Tank will publish a podcast from the Education Policy Program with analysis and commentary on the latest news in the world of public education in the United States.

To listen, go here.

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