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Early Education

Proposed Changes to the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge

May 31, 2013

This month the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released proposed changes to future Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge competitions, which would be limited to states that have not already received a RTT-ELC grant.

For the most part, the requirements proposed by ED and HHS are identical to previous rounds. But there are five main changes, two of which have to do with the competition’s priorities.

Pre-K Momentum from Business Leaders and Red States

May 30, 2013
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The idea of expanding access to preschool and early learning programs received a big push this week. More than 300 companies and business leaders signed a letter to President Obama and members of Congress, asking them to put more focus on early childhood policy to ensure a "well-prepared workforce."

New HHS Child Care Regulations Increase Focus on Quality Education

May 30, 2013

Last week the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new round of child care regulations.

Four Years Later, Progress and Pitfalls for State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood

May 28, 2013
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This guest post was written by Christina Satkowski, a former program associate for the Early Education Initiative and author of the 2009 New America paper, The Next Step in Systems-Building: Early Childhood Advisory Councils and Federal Efforts to Promote Policy Alignment in Early Childhood. Christina recently received a foreign policy graduate degree from Georgetown University and spent a year in Jordan as a Fullbright Research Scholar exploring education issues in the Mideast.

Back in 2009, states were given a promising opportunity to address a chronic problem in early childhood policy. The stove-piped and uncoordinated nature of programs like Head Start, state pre-K and federally-funded special education programs meant that some children and their families were unable to access valuable services and the programs themselves do not reach their full potential. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “stimulus”), Congress approved a $100 million grant program to support the work of state-level advisory councils designed to lead the effort to build comprehensive and effective systems of early childhood programs in their state.

Growing Research Consensus on Effective Strategies for Dual Language Instruction in Early Childhood

May 22, 2013

While there is little doubt that excellent early education sets students up for long-term academic success, the definition of “excellent” varies along with communities’ diverse needs. This is nowhere truer than with dual language learners.

Map Provides Context for Reforms of Teacher Evaluation Systems

May 21, 2013
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Nearly every state is overhauling its teacher evaluation system, implementing new teacher observation tools and incorporating measures of student achievement. Why?

Podcast: The Hell of (and Hope for) American Daycare

May 21, 2013
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Last week, at an event based on the New Republic article, The Hell of American Daycare, author Jonathan Cohn and a panel of experts further explored the dismal state of American child care and started a conversation about potential strategies to improve our early education system more broadly.

HHS Proposes New Child Care Rules

May 20, 2013
Kathleen Sebelius Presents New Rules at CentroNia

Conor Williams recently joined the Early Education Initiative as a Senior Researcher. He's just completed a PhD in Government at Georgetown University, a degree he pursued after teaching first grade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Conor's research addresses the challenges immigrant families face in the American education system, educational equity as a means to increased social mobility, and the history of education in the United States.

In an era of Washington gridlock, there’s almost nothing quite as gratifying as seeing big policy changes that echo one’s recent arguments. Along those lines, Thursday was a great day for advocates of more and higher-quality child care in the United States. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new Obama administration proposal to raise the federal baseline for subsidized child care centers across the country. She introduced the new rules at CentroNía, a bilingual community center in Washington, D.C. that includes early childhood programs, a PreK-5 charter school, and parent outreach initiatives.

An Ocean of Unknowns in Using Student Achievement Data to Evaluate Early Grade Teachers

May 14, 2013
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More than 20 states now require measures of student achievement to carry significant weight in teachers’ effectiveness ratings – even in the earliest grades, in which children do not participate in state standardized testing. As a result, states and school districts are struggling to find sound methods to measure young students’ learning.

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