Pittsburgh Post Gazette Endorses Increase in State Budget for PreK

Early-childhood education is so important that even retired admirals and generals are fighting for it.

Mission: Readiness, a children’s advocacy group made up of former military leaders, is part of a 2-year-old coalition demanding that the state invest $90 million more next fiscal year in pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs.

For the full article, visit here

Reading Your Way to a Culturally Responsive Classroom

"Four-year-old Yasmin, who is Black, walks into the dramatic play area, enjoying the sound of the beads in her braids clicking to the rhythm of her steps. Her teacher, Ms. Cindy, who is White, and her friend Alexis, who is Black, are sitting on the floor, talking and braiding the dolls’ hair. Ms. Cindy and Alexis take turns choosing beads to put in the dolls’ braids.

There are a number of ways early childhood educators can approach race in the classroom. We refer to these practices as race-related teaching practices (RRTPs). In this article we begin to address the need for these practices by offering categories for thinking about RRTPs and suggesting ways teachers can use children’s literature to welcome related conversations."

For the full article, visit Young Children, Vol. 71, No. 2

How much can high-quality universal pre-k reduce achievement gaps?

Ensuring that all children are entering kindergarten with the foundational academic skills they need to succeed is a major priority for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners alike. Early childhood education programs show promise toward this goal. Research suggests that participation in a high-quality early childhood education program can enhance children’s development, reduce achievement gaps at kindergarten entry, and even have long-term benefits for children’s school trajectories.


State-funded pre-kindergarten programs and their effects on children

Most states provide pre-kindergarten programs for 3- and/or 4-year-old children. The programs are often for children who might otherwise enter school behind their peers because of life circumstances such as poverty, not speaking English, or identified disability.

Evaluations of pre-K programs have found that they prepare children for success when they enter kindergarten and into later grades.


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article69559682.html#storylink=cpy

Early education makes for good politics

Education is an issue that serves as a linchpin for many of the other issue concerns of voters, such as job security, economic opportunity, wage stagnation and economic mobility. Helping families and communities provide children with high-quality early education from birth to age five has emerged as a family issue which the vast majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents can agree upon and urge action.


India invests in early education, and we should emulate its commitment

India makes my point. So do Bangladesh and China and Turkey and Colombia and the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malaysia.

All have investment in early learning as part of the national agenda. (In recent years I have visited early learning centers in each of these countries.)

While we in these United States are especially blessed to partake of a rich and generous country and to live in full freedom, in some places and in some ways we are not as future-focused as we might think.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article68350932.html#storylink=cpy