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Kindergarten

Key Questions about Early Ed in Obama's FY12 Budget

February 15, 2011
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As it does every year, the education policy team here at New America has compiled a list of key questions prompted by the Obama administration's budget request, which was released yesterday. The questions are designed to heighten the quality of debate on federal education policy and spark conversations among policymakers, the media, stakeholder groups, and the public.

Here are our two questions that relate most directly to early education:

Obama’s FY12 Budget Is Good to Early Ed

February 14, 2011

Under the 2012 budget that President Obama released today, early education would not only receive protection from the budget knife, but additional dollars as well. The Obama administration’s request to Congress proposes increases in funding for child care grants and Head Start, as well as Title I and special education programs.

When Principal Turnover Makes Turnarounds Even Tougher

February 11, 2011

A recent event at the Fordham Institute focused on whether bad schools really ever get better.  As a former teacher with many contacts still working in elementary schools, the event reminded me of the critical importance of strong school principals and what happens when they leave or are moved to other jobs.

U.S. Dept of Ed's Dashboard Starts with 3-Year-Olds

February 10, 2011
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A new online “dashboard” created by the U.S. Department of Education is yet another sign of the growing awareness that children’s education should start well before kindergarten:  The website includes data on 3- and 4-year-olds.

This nod to early learners may not seem like a big deal to those already convinced that public education should, of course, be inclusive of children at these ages. And it may even seem like a slight to those who wish it could include information starting at a child’s birth. Regardless, it is an important tool for prompting recognition among the broader public, not to mention activists in the education policy community, that early learning is part of public education.

Podcast: Coping with Chronic Absence

February 8, 2011

Conversations about truancy are pretty common among educators. Everyone wants students -- particularly those who are struggling -- in the classroom. Getting them there is a challenge that educators and policymakers have been addressing for years.

Kids First

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - 5:00pm

Please join the New America Foundation in a conversation with David L. Kirp, author of Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children's Lives and America's Future.

Podcast: Coping with Chronic Absence

February 8, 2011
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Conversations about truancy are pretty common among educators. Everyone wants students -- particularly those who are struggling -- in the classroom. Getting them there is a challenge that educators and policymakers have been addressing for years.

Chronic absence is truancy's quieter, less recognizable sibling. In the early grades, a surprising number of children miss days and weeks of school. Often, they aren’t missing on their own account, but due to a myriad of issues such as transportation and family problems, as well as higher rates of mobility among low-income families. And because most schools track rates of absence as an aggregate number, many schools with good overall attendance rates overlook the minority of children who are missing far too much school.

Early Ed Watch Podcasts

March 10, 2011

UPDATE 3/15/13: From now on, Education Watch podcasts will be covering the full spectrum of education policy, pre-K through college. They are being archived at http://www.newamerica.net/podcast.

Happy Anniversary to Our Early Ed Watch Podcast

February 3, 2011
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Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Early Ed Watch podcast!

For a year now, the Early Education Initiative has been featuring education experts from across the country in our bi-weekly podcast. Making the podcasts has been informative and entertaining-- and we hope our listeners enjoy listening to the podcasts as much as we enjoy making them.

Bringing Teacher Preparation Programs up to Par

February 2, 2011

Every state is responsible for approving the teacher preparation programs that produce soon-to-be teachers. Under the Higher Education Act, the federal government requires every state to identify low-performing preparation programs. More than half of the states, however, have never named a single low-performing program. With more than 1,400 colleges of education, each housing multiple teacher preparation programs, how can this be?

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