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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks out in strong support of early childhood education
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
The distribution of income and wealth in the United States has been widening more or less steadily for several decades, to a greater extent than in most advanced countries. This trend paused during the Great Recession because of larger wealth losses for those at the top of the distribution and because increased safety-net spending helped offset some income losses for those below the top. But widening inequality resumed in the recovery, as the stock market rebounded, wage growth and the healing of the labor market have been slow, and the increase in home prices has not fully restored the housing wealth lost by the large majority of households for which it is their primary asset.
White House to announce $2 million study on early learning
U.S. News & World Report
The White House will announce a new initiative to encourage technological and research support to combat the word gap, a learning curve many low-income children face in their early years before entering school. Research has shown that children from lower income families on average hear 30 million fewer words in the first three years of their lives than those from wealthier families. Proponents of closing the gap say it's important for parents to talk, read and sing with their children, but that low-income parents often don't have the time or the resources to do so.
Inviting family into the classroom
While the primary training of a childcare professional appropriately focuses on the safety and education of young children, often too little attention is paid to the role of parents and family members — both as active participants and as part of the daily curriculum — in the early childhood classroom. After all, often the very reason that children are being cared for outside the home is because parents are at work (and therefore busy) or desire an outside social and learning experience for their children. However, it is critical to remember that parents are the "experts" on their own children and their presence, personally and through daily play and projects, should be viewed as a critical part of a child's success. It is very important that families take a central role, and this can be encouraged by the attitude of the childcare professional and the curriculum used in the classroom.
What does the evidence show on preschool?
A recent article by Professor David Armor repeats many of the common arguments made by researchers opposed to current proposals for expanding preschool. The article was published online by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. The article's arguments have been frequently made by opponents of universal preschool. In particular, these arguments are similar to those made by Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution, who has previously co-authored a blog post on preschool research with Professor Armor.
State preschool and programs for infants and toddlers under the microscope
When it comes to early-childhood education, should we step on the gas or tap the brakes? Two Washington-area think tanks on the opposite end of the political spectrume released reports Oct. 15 that, unsurprisingly, call for different approaches to programs for young children. David J. Armor, a professor emeritus at George Mason University, wrote an analysis for the libertarian Cato Institute, "The Evidence for Universal Preschool," that says such evidence is too thin to merit further government-backed expansions.
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How should professional development change?
Teachers in the United States have long known that there is a traditional "disconnect" between what teachers were expected to do and how the teachers were expected to learn how to do it. Teachers attend professional development sessions of all kinds, but unfailingly will acknowledge that the real development of teacher skills for most teachers in the U.S. is "on the job" or "learning by doing." Job-imbedded professional development through teacher collaboration is becoming a more significant factor in more and more school systems worldwide.
It's universal: What it takes to ensure high quality pre-kindergarten
The Hechinger Report
Mayor DeBlasio's universal pre-K initiative has presented challenges to policy-makers and service providers in regard to finding funding, space, and teachers for the multitude of new classrooms opening across our city. An important challenge that deserves equal attention is how to ensure that the programs are of high quality. Over the last several decades, an explosion of research from across the disciplines –neuroscience, psychology, sociology, medicine and education — has confirmed that young children's learning is optimally developed through active engagement with materials, experiences and relationships.
Head Start program benefits parents
Northwestern University via Science Daily
Head Start programs may help low-income parents improve their educational status, according to a new study. The study is one of the first to examine whether a child's participation in the federal program benefits mothers and fathers — in particular parents' educational attainment and employment.
Are preschoolers too young for CrossFit training? Supporters and critics weigh in
The new CrossFit Kids program for preschoolers, and those under 18 years old, may encourage physical exercise, but it may also create an unhealthy focus on physical appearance for children. CrossFit is a worldwide strength and conditioning exercise program that has become increasingly popular since 2000. The program is used by not only professional athletes but many police academies, tactical operations teams and military special operations units.
Ensuring early reading literacy
District Administration Magazine
A reading interventionist might be a district’s best friend. Lake Orion Community Schools in Michigan broke new ground two years ago with its Kindergarten Reading Early Intervention Program. The unique initiative pairs full-time reading interventionists with teachers in Lake Orion's 24 kindergarten classrooms to boost the early literacy of the district's youngest students. "Our educators are encouraged to think outside of the box to enhance student achievement," Superintendent Marion Ginopolis says.
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