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November 13, 2013

Proposed Pre-k Legislation: What's Good, What's Not So Good

In my previous post, I explained some of the key things that the pre-k bills introduced today by Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. George Miller do. Here are some things to keep an eye on:  What's Good:  Strong support for diverse delivery. Under this legislation, states that receive pre-k funds would make...

April 19, 2012

HHS Releases Head Start Applications

So it begins: The Department of Health and Human Services today officially announced Head Start funding opportunities in 97 geographic areas across the country where current grantees have been identified for designation renewal. Applicants, including current grantees, will have 90 days to prepare th...

April 05, 2012

Federal Early Childhood Policy Needs to Fix Existing Programs

My colleague Andy Rotherham has a new TIME column looking at early childhood education and the cuts that states have been making in pre-k in recent years. Andy doesn't mention it, but states have also made sharp cuts in childcare funding, which enables low-income parents to work and helps some of th...

March 25, 2012

A Development on Federal ELC Funding, and Nothing on Head Start Redesignation

So, it appears that the grant announcements for the 132 Head Start grants identified for designation renewal (aka, recompetition), which were forecast to be posted on Friday, March 23, have not, as of this blog post, yet been posted. It's possible that this is just an example of the federal governme...

March 23, 2012

False Fears on Head Start Recompete

I feel a little churlish picking at Simon van Zuylen-Wood's recent TNR piece on Head Start recompetition, given that TNR is actually covering early childhood issues that are typically woefully under-covered by the media, and that van Zuylen-Wood actually does unearth some legitimate issues with how ...

February 28, 2012

Does the Administration think Early Childhood Doesn't Matter for Economic Growth?

It's awfully telling that the administration's new Education Blueprint: An Economy Built to Last document includes sections on Higher Education and K-12 reform but not early childhood. To be sure, the document gives some lip service to the Early Learning Challenge Fund, but it doesn't list administr...

February 13, 2012

Estimating the Odds on a Second Round of Early Learning Challenge Grants?

Will there be a second round of federal Early Learning Challenge Grants to help states build their early learning and development systems? It's a big open question. In December 2011 the Department of Education awarded grants to 9 states, using $500 out of just under $700 million in funding appropria...

February 07, 2012

Do We Need to Improve Productivity in Public Education?

Marguerite Roza and Paul Hill put the smack down on critics of their work on educational productivity in this post on the CRPE website. In December, a Colorado-based think tank issued a report challenging Secretary Arne Duncan's calls for schools to focus on doing more with less in response to "the ...

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 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...

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The opinions expressed in Sara Mead's Policy Notebook are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.
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