An Early Look at Early Education in Tennessee

A new study of pre-K came out of Tennessee this week that reinforces the need for a federal initiative to support state pre-K programs along the lines proposed by the Obama Administration. No study informs policy on its own, so my purpose here is to look at what the Tennessee study adds to the larger body of research. The research as whole finds that observed preschool program impacts tend to decline after school entry. This is not entirely “fade-out.” It also results from “catch-up,” in part because of compensatory efforts by the schools for children who do not attend preschool.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Highly Qualified Teachers: The Workforce Early Education Needs and Deserves

Well-trained, responsive, and effective teachers are essential to a high-quality early education program. While research has sometimes been murky on what the appropriate training and credentialing for early educators should be, a lack of good data has made it difficult in the past to explore the current situation. Recent research has helped shed some light on what the characteristics of early childhood educators.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

State-Funded Preschool in America in a “State of Emergency”

Today NIEER released its most recent edition of The State of Preschool 2012: State Preschool Yearbook at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. This Yearbookmarks a decade of data collection, from the 2001-2002 to 2011-2012 school years, tracking the changes in state-funded pre-K policies during some difficult financial times. Joining NIEER at the release were U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius; President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten; Chairman Emeritus of the Vanguard Group Jack Brennan; and Celia Ayala, CEO of Los Angeles Universal Preschool.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Pre-K and Tobacco, Perfect Together?

High-quality pre-K for all funded by a tobacco tax is a winning combination. It makes perfect sense from both economic and political perspectives. Let’s start with the economic perspective. Economics is primarily concerned with two issues, efficiency and equity (fairness). The primary economic argument against higher taxes is that they lead people to make less optimal choices, perhaps even discouraging socially beneficial activities that we otherwise want to encourage.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

(Almost) Everything You Wanted to Know about Pre-K in the Federal Budget

Since President Obama announced his goal of quality early education for 4-year-olds in his State of the Union address, the education world has been buzzing for more information. Details provided earlier this month indicated that the president’s plan would call for funding the program through an increase in the tobacco tax from $1.01 per pack to $1.95. The release of the president’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 provides significantly more insight into the administration’s Preschool for All initiative.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Yes, Public Preschool is a Smart Investment

Note: This blog post is in response to the question posed by The New York Times in its Room for Debate forum: “Is Public Preschool a Smart Investment?”.

Early education and care programs have two goals — child care so parents can work or go to school and education so children learn and grow optimally. Unfortunately, much of what is called child care in the United States is what others would call “child minding.” Ensuring that children are safe, warm, and fed is not enough to support their healthy development, which also requires well-trained, adequately paid teachers who receive coaching and supervision plus sufficiently teacher-child ratios.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Pre-K Goes to Washington

President Obama launched early childhood education into the national spotlight in February when in his State of the Union address he proposed “working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America.” Since then, the early education field has been debating best practices, funding models, and making sure the mainstream media accurately presents the compelling research case for pre-K.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

The Perry Preschool Study and Head Start

Your review claims that the Perry study and the Abecedarian study are the sole evidence that preschool works. But they are just the best known of a large number of studies finding that preschool works, that is, has its intended effects on children. Along with the city-wide Chicago Child-Parent Centers study, these studies go a big step further by finding strong long-term effects and return on investment.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Fulfilling the Promise of Universal Pre-K

Few government investments pay the dividends of high-quality pre-kindergarten education, which has been found to return as much as $10 for every dollar invested, from higher earnings, lower crime, and reduced government costs later in life. Yet, despite powerful evidence that it works, states have a checkered history of implementing quality pre-K. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has now wisely recommended increasing the state’s investment in preschool education and has proposed new support for full-day pre-K.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Federal Proposal Would Build on State Efforts

President Obama’s call to action on early education is a watershed moment that has the potential to improve education for millions of American students. Ensuring all students have the opportunity to attend high-quality preschool, regardless of income and geography, is a key component of an effective education system that prepares students for success in school and society.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.