Kindergarten

Duke Researchers Find Effective Teachers Clustered in Tested Grades

July 24, 2012

A recent working paper from public policy researchers at Duke University examines one potential unintended consequence of the school accountability era: Is it possible that accountability testing, which under No Child Left Behind begins in the third grade, has given elementary school administrators an incentive to cluster their strongest teachers in third, fourth and fifth grade classrooms, thus depriving younger students of more effective teachers?

According to the study, by Sarah C. Fuller and Helen F. Ladd, this may be the case. In North Carolina between the years of 1995 and 2009, teachers who were average or less effective at improving test scores were more likely than their peers to be reassigned from 3rd-5th grade classrooms to kindergarten, first grade and second grade. A teacher one standard deviation above the mean for student test scores in reading was 74.5 percent as likely as an average teacher to move from teaching 3rd-5th grade to teaching earlier grades. Teachers with above-average math scores were 70.1 percent as likely as an average teacher to move down into the early grades.

Hitting a Triple: States Winning 3 Federal Grants that Could Improve Education from Birth to Third Grade

June 27, 2012

Read the headlines about the federal government’s early education competitions among states, and you might think there is only one game in town: the Early Learning Challenge that is part of Obama’s signature education reform initiative, Race to the Top.

But three other statewide grants could also have an impact on children’s learning in early childhood from birth through third grade: Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grants; Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) grants; and the original Race to the Top, which is labeled a K-12 program and therefore explicitly includes the K-3 grades and could implicitly impact public schools’ pre-K programs as well.

Federal Actions and PreK-3rd Reforms: Where, How and Why They Should Fit Together

June 14, 2012

On May 11, 2012, Lisa Guernsey gave a talk at Harvard University's PreK-3rd Institute on the federal government's role so far in reforming early education to enable better alignment across the pre-K, kindergarten, first, second and third grades (PreK-3rd). The presentation examines the Obama Administration's top-level education agenda and its early learning policies and describes how new and existing federal programs and funding streams are influencing the work of states and school districts in creating better early education systems for young children.

More Than 'Drive-By' Observations: New Trends in Watching and Measuring Good Teaching

June 14, 2012

On May 17, 2012, Lisa Guernsey gave a talk at the Education Writers Association annual meeting in Philadelphia on new trends in watching and measuring good teaching that was based in part on the New America paper, Watching Teachers Work: Using Observation Tools to Promote Effective Teaching in the Early Years and Early Grades.

How Will Early Ed Fit Into New District-Level Race to the Top?

May 22, 2012

If school districts want to win between $15 million and $25 million in the next Race to the Top competition, they will have to focus on personalized learning, according to draft guidelines released by the U.S. Department of Education today. They will also need to come up with a way to link student performance to the evaluation of teachers and school leaders, such as principals.

Podcast: Turning Around Elementary Schools

May 14, 2012

Two years ago, the federal government began distributing $3 billion in stimulus funds to some of the nation's lowest performing schools through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. With SIG funds, states are expected to rapidly transform schools according to program guidelines put out by the Department of Education.

Podcast: Turning Around Elementary Schools

May 14, 2012
Publication Image

Two years ago, the federal government began distributing $3 billion in stimulus funds to some of the nation's lowest performing schools through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. With SIG funds, states are expected to rapidly transform schools according to program guidelines put out by the Department of Education.

Preparing Teachers for the Early Grades

  • By
  • Laura Bornfreund,
  • New America Foundation

Imagine a new teacher—Emily. She just graduated from a four-year university with an elementary education degree and a K–5 teaching license. Most of her field experiences were in 3rd through 5th grade classrooms, and her student teaching was in 4th grade. But Emily is offered a position in a 1st grade classroom. She is a little nervous about teaching children so young, but she accepts the job. "How different can it be?" she thinks to herself.

Podcast: Going Beyond Third-Grade Retention to Help Struggling Readers

April 30, 2012
Publication Image

Early educators and child advocates continue to stress the importance of children learning to read by the end of third grade.  Legislators in several states are signaling their interest in this too by proposing third-grade retention policies that keep children from graduating to fourth grade until they can pass a reading test. Is this a smart approach?

Syndicate content