High Quality Early Education

Unified Backlash to Education Mandates Grows, Spreads

By Jeff Bryant, Education Opportunity Network

A national grassroots movement of parents, students, teachers and advocates against high-stakes testing and standards is growing, propelled by widespread grievances about inequity, unfairness, and public disempowerment. As the resistance swells, so does the call for sensible policies that support teachers and schools and provide all students with access to key resources and opportunities.

“It’s always hard to tell for sure exactly when a revolution starts,” wrote John Tierny in The Atlantic recently. “I’m not an expert on revolutions,” he continued, “but even I can see that a new one is taking shape in American K-12 public education.”

State: 

Bringing the Equity Commission to America's Classrooms: A Webinar for Educators

Mark your calendars for an exciting, free webinar on Wed. May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. (ET) hosted by the Center for Teaching Quality, OTL Campaign, National Education Association, and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education.

Bringing the Equity Commission to America's Classrooms:
A Webinar for Educators

Wednesday, May 22nd at 7 PM Eastern / 4 PM Pacific

State: 

The State of Preschool 2012

National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has tracked preschool enrollment and funding data in the country for over a decade. Its latest annual "State of Preschool" report presents an alarming set of "firsts" in the 2011-2012 school year: Enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs has stagnated after a decade of growth, and average funding per child has decreased below $4,000 for the first time since NIEER began collecting the data.

If there's one thing we can all agree on in the midst of budget slashing and a limping economic recovery, it's that kids who go to preschool are better prepared to start learning in school and stand a better chance of graduating and achieving at high levels.

How to Close the Opportunity Gap: Key Policy Recommendations

Publication Date: 
Mon, 2013-05-13
Type: 
policy
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

The National Education Policy Center's new book "Closing the Opportunity Gap" offers a wide array of policy recommendations for closing the opportunity gap and ensuring all students have the resources they need to succeed. This policy guide distills the most important recommendations from the book at three different levels: at the level of students' individual needs, at the level of in-school opportunities and resources, and at the level of communities and neighborhoods.

Give At-Risk Students Early, Tailored Supports

By Chris Hill, NC Justice Center, and John H. Jackson, Schott Foundation

It’s time we recognize that students fall behind not because of inherent character flaws, but because our education policies for the past two decades have focused on implementing tough standards while failing to build support systems that address the societal factors that create barriers to academic success.

More than 20 million students in the United States are below proficient in reading and math and barred from the educational opportunities that will lead to success.

Moving From Standards to Supports

By John H. Jackson, President & CEO, Schott Foundation

Standards-based reform creates an inherent system of winners and losers by raising the bar and assessing who makes the cut. Supports-based reforms provide and strategically align the needed resources so each student has the opportunity to reach that bar—and surpass it.

In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama returned repeatedly to the theme of "we the people" and the ever-more-inclusive nature of that "we" in our nation.

Market-Oriented Education Reforms' Rhetoric Trumps Reality

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2013-04-23
Author: 
Broader, Bolder Approach to Education
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

Top-down pressure from federal education policies such as Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind, bolstered by organized advocacy efforts, is making a popular set of market-oriented education “reforms” look more like the new status quo than real reform. Reformers assert that test-based teacher evaluation, increased access to charter schools, and the closure of “failing” and under-enrolled schools will boost at-risk students’ achievement and narrow longstanding race- and income-based achievement gaps. This new report from the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education examines these assertions by comparing the impacts of these reforms in three large urban school districts – Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago – with student and school outcomes over the same period in other large, high-poverty urban districts. The report finds that the reforms deliver few benefits, often harm the students they purport to help, and divert attention from a set of other, less visible policies with more promise to weaken the link between poverty and low educational attainment.

State: 

For ECE and After-School, Funding Instability Is Top Concern

Despite the wealth of research showing that early learning and after-school programs help close the achievement gap by ensuring children are prepared to start school and continue to achieve once they're there, a report from NY OTL ally Campaign for Children shows how funding instability for these programs could lead to their collapse.

Despite the wealth of research showing that early learning and after-school programs help close the achievement gap by ensuring children are prepared to start school and continue to achieve once they're there, a report from NY OTL ally Campaign for Children shows how funding instability for these programs could lead to their collapse.

"This Is No Way to Operate a Critical Service for Children and Families!"

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2013-03-13
Author: 
Campaign for Children
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

Despite the research showing that early learning and after-school programs help close the achievement gap by ensuring children are prepared to start school and continue to achieve once they're there, this report from NY OTL ally Campaign for Children shows how funding instability for these programs could lead to their collapse. Thousands of students from low-income families stand to lose these vital opportunities that represent a key resource in a support-based education reform model. 

Despite the research showing that early learning and after-school programs help close the achievement gap by ensuring children are prepared to start school and continue to achieve once they're there, this report from NY OTL ally Campaign for Children shows how funding instability for these programs could lead to their collapse. Thousands of students from low-income families stand to lose these vital opportunities that represent a key resource in a support-based education reform model.

"Children's Budget" Maps Investments In Our Most Important Resource

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's new Children's Budget is an expansive database of government services and programs for children and their families that impact their access to high quality educational opportunities. Covering everything from early childhood education, fair funding, expanded learning time, healthcare, affordable housing and juvenile justice, this database is a potent tool worth replicating in other states, and it drives home the need for supports-based, not standards-based, education reform.

As advocates and organizers can attest to, the education debate is huge and the number of issues at play in trying to ensure every student has an opportunity to learn can seem overwhelming. So hats off to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center for its new Children's Budget, an expansive database of government services and programs for children and their families that impact their access

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