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January 05, 2011

How Pre-k is Like Charter Schools, and What We Can Learn from the Evidence on Each

Yesterday, I explained that I don't think it makes sense to think and talk about the evidence on pre-k in the same way that we think and talk about the evidence on specific instructional and pedagogical innovations. Instead, I'd suggest that the body of evidence for pre-k is more comparable to the...

January 04, 2011

Is Pre-k a Specific Intervention, or a Structural Reform?

As I wrote yesterday, whether we think about preschool as a specific intervention or a structural arrangement has significant implications for how we think and talk about pre-k research--as well as pre-kindergarten more generally. Universal pre-k advocates, by and large, talk about pre-kindergarte...

January 03, 2011

"If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary"

Recent blog posts on pre-kindergarten by Kevin Carey and myself have generated some questions and comment from individuals who believe Kevin and I are challenging or attempting to dismiss the evidence on the effectiveness of pre-kindergarten programs. Not at all--the body of evidence demonstrating t...

December 07, 2010

Pre-K Is Not An Alternative to Education Reform

Kevin Carey has a great post on the problems with pre-k panacea-ism that you should read in its entirety, but the short version is that we should be highly skeptical of arguments that posit pre-k as an alternative to K-12 reform, because delivering high-quality pre-k at scale requires grappling with...

December 01, 2010

Is the Pre-K Movement Doomed to Replicate the Flaws of the K-12 System?

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a forum on Rick Hess's new book, The Same Thing Over and Over, which argues that current iterations of school reform are doomed to fall short because they fail to challenge fundamental premises of our current educational system that are ill-suited for conte...

November 30, 2010

Early Ed Roundup

A new MDRC study finds that classroom management training and classroom-based consultations can improve preschool teachers' ability to deal with children's problem behaviors and improve emotional support climate in their classrooms. Interesting podcast from the New America Foundation's Early Ed In...

October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat, Smell My High-Quality Pre-k Instruction

I've been writing a lot* lately about instructional quality, particularly about new models with promise to help us both better measure and also improve the quality of instruction in early childhood settings. But I thought it might be helpful--and more engaging--if I actually showed you what I'm talk...

October 21, 2010

An Evolving Debate on Pre-K Quality?

Over the past 10 years, the universal pre-kindergarten movement has made tremendous strides: Annual state spending has grown at a roughly 10% annual rate since 2001, roughly doubling to some $5 billion today. The number of children served in state pre-k has nearly doubled as well: from less than 700...

October 18, 2010

This post brought to you by the letter K: Kindergarten cut-offs, Kaya Henderson, and Tom Kane and others at CAP

Kindergarten Cutoffs and Transitional Kindergarten in California : I'm not all that psyched about California's recent decision to move up the cut-off date for kindergarten entry. Given that their December 2 date was the latest in the country, moving it up might make sense. But available evidence su...

October 12, 2010

More About Reform and Instruction

In response to my blog post last week about "Waiting for 'Superman'," Robert Pondiscio writes that a lack of attention to instruction is not unique to "Waiting for 'Superman'," but more broadly symptomatic of the education reform movement—a sentiment echoed by commenters on this blog. I have...

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