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Early Education

New Research: Targeted Parent Training Can Help Students Focus—and Succeed

July 8, 2013

As the Obama Administration ramps up its push for expanded early childhood education access for all children, it’s important to ensure that preschool quality remains a big part of the conversation. Fortunately, there’s good news on this front from the University of Oregon’s Brain Development Lab.

What ‘Sid the Science Kid’ Means for Adults

July 3, 2013
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Last month I had the opportunity to write about one of my favorite preschool television shows, Sid the Science Kid.  The piece, “How Kids’ Television Inspires a Lifelong Love of Science,” is part of a special online report on Educating Americans for the 21st Century, published by Smithsonian magazine.*

Promising Trends, but Discouraging Numbers, in Early Childhood Education Workforce

July 1, 2013

An oft-repeated lament in the early childhood world is that child care workers are so low-paid that, on average, they earn less than parking lot attendants. A new analysis supported by the Institute of Education Sciences and published in Education Finance and Policy finds this old adage is correct – but the authors say there is some promising news, too.

The study, “The Early Childhood Care and Education Workforce from 1990 through 2010: Changing Dynamics and Persistent Concerns,” examines Census data from the Current Population Survey for early childhood employees in schools, centers and home-based care. It looks at four characteristics: educational attainment of child care workers, pay of those workers, the “brain drain” of early childhood workers from the industry and the prestige of the workforce, as measured by the education level and compensation of people new to the field.

Child Care, Preschool, and American Families

June 28, 2013
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The last few news cycles have confirmed what researchers already knew: American families, conceptions of marriage, and views on gender are changing fast. In 1975, nearly half of American households followed the traditional “dad-at-work, mom-at-home” model. Less than one-third of families use that model today. Twice as many dads stay home with their children now as did a decade ago. And today, over 40 percent of mothers are the “sole or primary providers” in their households today.

Building Early Literacy Through Libraries and Museums

June 25, 2013
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Public libraries may seem like an easy place to trim some fat off local budgets. Indeed, according to the American Library Association, 40 percent of states cut library funding in 2011. But that approach may be undermining parallel efforts to boost investment in early childhood education.

New Research Shows Social Skills and Mixed-Language Play Help ELLs Learn English

June 24, 2013

A new study provides evidence of the direct link between social and academic skill building during early childhood. The article, “Understanding Influences of Play on Second Language Learning,” is by Ruth Piker of California State University – Long Beach, and was published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Early Childhood Research. Piker uses developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky’s “concept of play as rule driven” to analyze how non-native English speakers develop skills in English through structured play with both native speakers and other dual-language learners.

We Need a Nuremberg Code for Big Data

  • By
  • Christine Rosen,
  • New America Foundation
June 20, 2013 |

What Obama's Pre-K Proposal Could Mean for Head Start

June 24, 2013

This guest post was written by J.M. Holland, a Head Start teacher in Richmond, Va., and adjunct faculty in the school of education at Virginia Commonwealth University. He writes about education at The Collaborateurs,  formerly The Future of Teaching

To be honest, President Obama’s recent re-commitment to improving quality and increasing access to early childhood education was a surprise to me. I knew that he had an interest in early childhood, because as a Head Start educator I have experienced first hand his interest in early childhood through the Designation Renewal of Early Head Start and Head Start grantees.  And when the Obama administration set accountability as a priority in its efforts to strengthen Head Start it made sense to me. There have been calls for revisions of Head Start funding for years. I am not sure if there will be unintentional negative consequences down the line but any effort toward change takes that risk.

Significant Diversity – and Inequality – in State Kindergarten Policy

June 20, 2013
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Children’s kindergarten experiences vary greatly depending on where they live. Some public school kindergartners, for example, attend school for six hours each day. Others attend for only two hours. A full day of state-funded kindergarten, as is the case for grades 1-12, is not available everywhere.

English Language Learners in Rep. Kline's Student Success Act

June 18, 2013

The parade of bills that could replace No Child Left Behind continues this week with Wednesday’s markup of Rep. John Kline’s (R-MN) version. All signals suggest that this won’t be the year Congress finally updates the nation’s most comprehensive education law—and the substantial differences between Kline’s and Sen. Tom Harkin’s bills have a lot to do with these dim prospects. We’ve already seen what Harkin’s Strengthening America’s Schools Act would mean for English Language Learners (ELLs). Today we’ll take a similar look at Kline’s bill, the Student Success Act (SSA).

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