Hiding Behind the Sofa: One Child’s Perspective of a Teacher’s Home Visit

Engaging families in the education of young children is nothing new. Education was always viewed as a partnership between parents and teachers, with teachers held in high regard by their families and parents valued for their contributions and ability to reinforce shared values and expectations. Home visits were part and parcel of the home-school connection a half-century ago in my youth, and parent-teacher conferences were sacrosanct throughout elementary years.

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

Betting on Public Support for Preschool

The new polling data from the First Five Years Fund are a source of hope that major new investments in early care and education will take place in the near future. This may even have presaged by recent advances in preschool investment across the country from New York to Michigan to California. Particularly interesting from a policy perspective is that the public has come to solidly support investments in our youngest children and to recognize the value of early child care, not just preschool education.

State prekindergarten programs: A decade of progress

Steve Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), highlighted some of the key findings of NIEER’s annual State Preschool Yearbook during a June 24 NCSL webinar entitled State Prekindergarten Programs: A Decade of Progress. Specifically, Barnett talked about the data and national trends for enrollment in, quality of, and spending on state-funded preschool programs.

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

One State’s bold step toward the future

Whether they know it or not, future generations of Vermont’s preschoolers are much better off this week. Last week Gov. Peter Shumlin signed H. 270- An Act Relating to Providing Access to Publicly Funded Prekindergarten Education to guarantee every 3- and 4-year-old living in the Green Mountain State voluntary access to state-funded pre-K. In so doing, Vermont joins a handful of states (FL, GA, IL, NY, OK, WV) and the District of Columbia who have made similar commitments, at least on paper.

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

STEM Challenges

From the National Journal: “And let’s not forget the optics. Science is still for nerds, Bill Gates’ fame aside. These are teenagers we’re talking about, after all. To the average girl on the street, meeting the Seattle Seahawks is still way cooler than meeting a superstar rocket scientist. Even if she rooted for the Broncos.”

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

Raising the Bar for Early Education

Is early education and care a profession or not? The debate has dogged the field for decades. Positions taken by the workforce and organizations representing their interests seldom come to full agreement in scenarios reminiscent of the “tastes great; less filling” debates. This in-fighting, often played out between public pre-K, Head Start, and child care, does not center around the acknowledged value of the workforce’s intentions, efforts or contributions; rather, it stems from the field’s failure to consider what actually qualifies as a profession and its willingness to take it to the next level.

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

Readiness and Opportunity Gaps in Early Education, 60 Years After Brown v. Board of Ed

Saturday marked the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, declaring that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal, and marking a major step forward in the Civil Rights movement. Yet 60 years later, equal access to high quality education remains a significant issue, and nowhere more so than in the preschool years.

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

Fact Checker–Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Apparently oblivious to irony, Chester “Checker” Finn attacked the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), NIEER, and the State of Preschool Yearbook last week in a blog titled “Now you’re entitled to your own facts, too.” His blog relies heavily on innuendo and insinuation, topped off by outright error, to try to kill the messenger in advance of the message. It seems Checker has lost his way when it comes to evaluating research and really does believe that he is entitled to his own facts. In this post, I review the facts to set the record straight.

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

2013 State Preschool Yearbook Finds Need for Renewed Investment

Today NIEER released its 2013 State Preschool Yearbookat CentroNía/DC Bilingual Public Charter School in D.C. This newest installment of theYearbook series covers policies, enrollment, and funding for state-funded pre-K programs in the 2012-2013 school year. Joining NIEER Director Steve Barnett at the event were Myrna Peralta, President/CEO of CentroNía; Roberto Rodriguez of the White House Domestic Policy Council; and Rob Dugger of ReadyNation/America’s Edge

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