April 2013 Archives

Yesterday, the National Institute for Early Education Research released their annual State Preschool Yearbook, a valuable resource on state preschool programs, spending and enrollment. It's not a pretty picture. Total state spending on preschool was down 7% in 2011-12, marking the first time in a decade that overall state spending on preschool has fallen. To understand why this is so striking, it's important to place pre-k spending trends in longer-term context (see chart below). For most of the past decade, the Yearbook has shown states making progress on pre-k. Even after the recession hit in 2008, the report still found ...


Over the past year, this blog has covered the Head Start designation renewal process, in which Head Start grantees that fail to meet certain performance measures are required to "recompete" for their grants. In December 2011, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which manages Head Start, notified 132 grantees that they would be required to re-apply for their grants. These grantees, and other agencies wishing to compete for Head Start grants, submitted applications in Summer 2012, but then heard nothing for months--to the considerable frustration of both the programs and early childhood policy analysts who wondered if something had ...


Earlier today, I moderated a panel discussion at the Center for American Progress on David Kirp's new book, Improbable Scholars. You can watch the full event streaming here. Kirp's book tells the story of Union City, New Jersey's transformation from a deeply troubled and low-performing district in the early 1990s to one where a predominantly low-income, Latino, immigrant student population performs on par with or better than the New Jersey statewide average today. Union City's success is powerful, and the district's leaders and educators deserve tremendous credit for the difficult work they do on a day in and day out ...


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