Recently in Early Childhood Education Category

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January 18, 2012

Early Learning Challenge is NOT About Pre-K

Last year, when the administration announced that it was going to devote $500 million in Race to the Top funds to the Early Learning Challenge Grant competition, a bunch of K-12 reform folks asked me about the "pre-k Race to the Top." And I always had to start out by explaining that, "actually, Ea...

December 07, 2011

QRIS Costs and Constraints

I've been writing this week about some of my concerns about the Early Learning Challenge program, many of which I laid out in this article. But there's one big concern I wasn't able to talk about due to space considerations--the fear that the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems that the program...

December 04, 2011

How Early Learning Challenge Falls Short

As states that submitted Early Learning Challenge applications await word of their success or failure later this month, I'm increasingly skeptical that this program is likely to deliver much in the way of lasting results. The reasons, which I lay out in a new piece for The New Republic, will be fami...

November 11, 2011

Head Start and the Other Half of the Charter Bargain

Writing about new Head Start "recompete" regulations on Wednesday, I said that the regs "essentially move Head Start towards a charter-like model, in which continued receipt of federal funding is contingent on demonstrated quality and performance." That's true in the sense that Head Start grants w...

November 09, 2011

Don't Blame Reforms When the Problem is Overall Shortage

Interesting NYT article looks at some of the implications of Early Learn NYC--a groundbreaking effort by the city's Administration of Children and Families to combine Head Start, pre-k, and child care funds to create common quality standards, improve the quality of services for young children, more ...

November 08, 2011

At Long Last, Motion on Head Start Re-Compete--and Opportunities for Early Childhood Social Entrepreneurs

Big White House announcement today around Head Start quality, and new rules that would require up low-performing Head Start grantees to compete with other providers to keep federal funding. Key background here: Head Start is a federal early childhood program that awards grants directly to local gr...

October 21, 2011

But I Am Still Thirsty

The Education Department reports that 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, have submitted applications for the Early Learning Challenge Race to the Top program. The inclusion of California and Florida (which required special legislative action to be eligible), two big states that di...

October 21, 2011

Can We Get Some Real Coverage of Early Childhood Issues?

Lots of people have been tweeting or forwarding me Wednesday's Nicholas Kristoff column calling for increased investment in early childhood education as a response to growing economic inequality. And with good reason--it's rare that early childhood education gets such high-profile media coverage.* ...

October 19, 2011

Pencils Down!

Today is the deadline for states to submit their applications to the feds for the Early Learning Challenge Race to the Top competition. Now the action moves to the agencies and the cohort of anonymous peer reviewers who will ultimately determine the outcomes of this competition. In July, 36 states...

October 18, 2011

Coaching & Credentials: Does it Have to Be Either/Or?

Ok, so I'm way behind in writing about this excellent recent Atul Gawande article on coaching. In the piece, Gawande makes the case that coaching--receiving individualized feedback and advice to improve one's performance from an objective, expert observer--is a powerful tool for improving performanc...

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