Early Education

Heard In the Forum: Positive Environments, Indoors and Out

March 18, 2011
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Following the Early Education Initiative’s “Before Birth and Up Through Third Grade” policy forum on March 2, we launched an online discussion space to continue the rich conversations that began that day.

A False Debate about Preschool (and K-12) Learning

March 17, 2011

More than 3,000 people on Facebook “liked” Alison Gopnik’s article on Slate this week, “Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School.” I was among them, but not because I agree with the headline, nor because I believe that children before age 5 should not be taught using direct instruction, that radioactive buzzword that means very different things to many people.

6 Questions for This Week’s Teaching Summit

March 17, 2011

For this blog post, we included a few questions from Amanda Ripley, one of New America's Schwartz Fellows, who is working on a book about international comparisons in education.

In New York this week at an international summit, education officials and ministers, union leaders and master teachers from 26 countries* are discussing promising practices for recruiting, preparing, supporting, developing, retaining, evaluating, and compensating teachers.

Another Voice for Changing How 'Title I' Works

March 16, 2011

The problems of Title I funding have been making their way into the news lately, helped in part by a symposium last week at the Center for American Progress that grappled with what’s wrong with schools’ use of this annual appropriation of $14.5 billion in federal dollars. The symposium showcased several papers – one written by New America’s own Jennifer Cohen – that provided details on how this federal program falls short.

Just 10 days before that event, at a journalism seminar here, another expert took the microphone to expound on Title I.

The Link Between Colleges of Education & Failing Elementary Schools

March 11, 2011

The following is an excerpt from a post at our sister blog, Higher Ed Watch:

For some time now, education schools have come under fire for the quality of teachers they prepare and graduate. Just this fall, multiple critical reports have been released, calling for these programs to improve clinical practice and coursework in the developmental sciences, and better reflect the issues, initiatives and reforms that are becoming more popular in school districts. In addition, U.S. News & World Report and the National Council on Teacher Quality announced a joint effort in January to rate the 1,400 education schools across the country.

Last week, we at the New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative added our own analysis on problems with the preparation and licensing of teachers who work specifically with young children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first-, second- and third-grade classrooms

Colleges Fall Short in Preparing Early Education Teachers

March 9, 2011

For some time now, education schools have come under fire for the quality of teachers they prepare and graduate. Just this fall, multiple critical reports have been released, calling for these programs to improve clinical practice and coursework in the developmental sciences, and better reflect the issues, initiatives and reforms that are becoming more popular in school districts. In addition, U.S. News & World Report and the National Council on Teacher Quality announced a joint effort in January to rate the 1,400 education schools across the country.

Last week, we at the New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative added our own analysis on problems with the preparation and licensing of teachers who work specifically with young children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first-, second- and third-grade classrooms. The report, "Getting in Sync: Revamping Licensure and Preparation for Teachers in Pre-K, Kindergarten and the Early Grades," shows that there is little assurance that education schools are adequately preparing teachers who are assigned to pre-kindergarten through third grade (PreK-3rd) classrooms to work with young children.

Getting in Sync

March 11, 2011

On March 1, 2011, the Early Education Initiative hosted a journalism seminar, where a new policy report,"Getting in Sync: Revamping Licensure and Preparation for Teachers in Pre-K, Kindergarten and the Early Grades," was released.

Podcast: Making Sense of the Federal Budget Process

March 8, 2011
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It’s never easy to tell a clear story about the federal budget and how it works, but this year the challenge is particularly acute. So we’ve asked one of our experts here at the New America Foundation to help clarify and explain the progress, or lack of progress, that Congress is making in its work on approving a federal budget that will fund programs in early education and other areas.

Sen. Casey Introduces Bill for Early Learning Challenge Fund

March 8, 2011

Last Thursday, Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) introduced the “Supporting State Systems of Early Learning Act.” The bill is the latest incarnation of the Early Learning Challenge Fund—a competitive grant program to encourage states to build and strengthen high-quality early learning.

The Most Challenging Policy Areas in Early Ed?

March 8, 2011

If you had to pick the hardest nuts to crack in early education policy, what would they be?

That was the question that animated discussions near the end of our policy forum last week. Everyone who attended -- which included about 70 people from school districts, national advocacy groups, philanthropic foundations and research centers -- was assigned to one of six roundtables. Each table had the same assignment: From a list of subject areas, they were asked to choose two that evoke the most challenging problems among educators and policymakers in the early education space. Here's what they had to choose from:

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