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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 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 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...

September 12, 2011

Rick Scott, Early Childhood Governor?

Keep an eye on this one: Florida Governor Rick Scott isn't typically thought of as an early childhood guy--he's better known in education circles for ending teacher tenure and his ties to Michelle Rhee. But apparently Scott really wants Florida to compete for an Early Learning Challenge Race to the ...

August 23, 2011

Quick and Dirty ELC Summary

Ok, I recognize that my previous post on this is pretty long, so here's a quick and dirty about what you need to know. In order to compete for an Early Learning Challenge Grant, states will have to: Commit to and set targets for improving school readiness of high-need children in their state. ...

August 23, 2011

What You Need to Know about Final Early Learning Challenge Criteria Released Today

This afternoon, while most D.C. workers were loitering on sidewalks outside the office buildings from which they'd been evacuated due to an earthquake in Virginia, staff from the White House, Department of Education, and Department of Health and Human Services stayed put to lead a national conferenc...

July 19, 2011

How Can Everything Look so Different, Yet so the Same?

Cross-posted from Eduwonk. The new Early Learning Challenge is being referred to in some quarters as "Race to the Top for early childhood education." That's quite literally true, in the sense that the Early Learning Challenge is being funded out of a pool of funds appropriated this year specifical...

June 29, 2011

Americans Are Confused About What Is A Government Program, and This Is Relevant to Education

Suzanne Mettler's current Washington Monthly article about the "submerged welfare state" is getting a lot of attention, particularly for this chart showing that a huge percentage of people who have benefited from government-subsidized social and education programs don't actually realize that they've...

June 23, 2011

Early Learning Challenge: Potential Peer Review Problems?

I've already voiced a considerable amount of skepticism and concern this week as regards the new Early Learning Challenge program under Race to the Top, but my biggest concern about this program isn't about the program itself--it's about the peer reviewers. In the wake of Race to the Top and i3, t...

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