It should be clear, on its face, that “miracles” have no place in education policy. Websters defines a miracle as “an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God.” No one seeking to improve education would rely on God or on “an unusual or wonderful event,” right? Wrong. High-profile policymakers not only have proclaimed to have produced or witnessed “miracles,” but have suggested that these other-worldly happenings ought to be the basis for widespread policy change. We have subsequently watched as each proved to be less than miraculous and, often, a disaster.
Both state governments and the federal government need to step up our investments in high-quality pre-K. As they do so, looking to Boston can help demonstrate the wisdom of investing in teacher training and curriculum support, and in ensuring access for all children. It can also demonstrate why the most effective pre-K programs will be part of a comprehensive strategy for America's children.
This year's release of District of Columbia Public Schools standardized test scores came with much less fanfare than in 2013 -- growth in "proficiency" is smaller, and district leaders were recently called out for lack of transparency ... using averages to hide growing gaps. Ironically, given NCLB's goal of illuminating race- and income-based gaps, districts like DCPS feel pushed to create the appearance that reforms have worked by hiding growing disparities....Transparency, paired with comprehensive, whole-child strategies that can help produce meaningful gains for all students, would represent the real reform we have long sought.
As we mark the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, we are glad to see renewed interest in the issue of segregation, but discouraged about our societal failure to tackle it. Perhaps the saddest aspect of this segregation is the waste of a precious American resource, one that could offer our children an important advantage over their peers in many other countries: diversity.
In contrast to education "reformers" such as Joel Klein who support increased spending on charter schools, testing, and performance-based rewards, the BBA calls for a redirection of funds towards early-childhood education, health care, and other social supports.
Data suggests that better schools do not address the problem of under achievement. Instead, resources should be directed towards a broader, bolder approach, incorporating childcare, parental support, and community involvement.
As President Obama noted in his State of the Union address, while the Great Recession technically ended in June 2009, many families continue to feel the effects. Child poverty continues to rise; 14.7 million children were living below the poverty line in 2013. Join First Focus for a briefing, sponsored by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to discuss these and other trends in recent years and get an update on the 2010 policy brief on child well-being with respect to health, food security and nutrition, housing stability, and welfare.
Rich Hill: Three Boys in Small Town America (April 29, 2014)
Ready for Kindergarten (February 27, 2014 and March 8, 2014)
The New Public (November 7, 2013)
American Winter (March 14, 2013)
Release Event: Noncognitive Skills: What are they, Why do they matter, and How can we better incorporate them into education policy?
ECE Webinar: Domains of Brain Development and Early Childhood Brain Science with Todd Grindal
Part I | Part II
ECE Webinar: Economic Benefits of Early Childhood Investments, K-12 Impacts with Robert G. Lynch
ECE Webinar: Paid Early Childhood Caregivers and Educators with Robert C. Pianta