Saturday, May 29, 2010

NIEER early ed news roundup 5/28

May 28, 2010 (Erie Times-News, Erie, PA)
Erie business leaders urged to invest in early childhood education
Speakers at the region's first Economic Summit on Early Childhood Investments said that money spent on preschool education pays dividends in economic and work-force development.

May 26, 2010 (The Daily Advertiser, Lafayette, LA)
Pre-K progam puts students on right course
Data shows that students perform better in school after some early childhood education. Students are taught how to behave in school, basic skills, numbers, colors and precursors to reading during a year of pre-kindergarten.

May 26, 2010 (The Birmingham News)
Most Alabamians favor state spending for pre-kindergarten
A coalition dedicated to expanding quality pre-kindergarten education for 4-year-olds in Alabama has found voters support spending more money on the effort -- regardless of party affiliation. Jan Hume, executive director of the alliance, said the results were a surprise to pollsters -- Alabama support for pre-kindergarten education remains as strong as it was four years ago, even in the face of high unemployment and a tepid economy.

May 25, 2010 (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Pre-k program's popularity fuels waiting lists
Georgia's voluntary pre-kindergarten program started in 1993 with 750 students and now has some 81,068 students in public schools and private day care centers in all 159 counties. Waiting lists, however, are becoming more common, especially in the metro areas.

May 23, 2010 (The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, IA)
Should taxpayers foot the bill for preschool?
Preschool spending has climbed at a time when public schools have been forced to raise property taxes, lay off teachers and combine classes to deal with their most difficult budgets in years. Universal preschool is in addition to Head Start and other government-run preschool efforts that target low-income families.

May 20, 2010 (EmaxHealth)
Depression Among Preschool Children
Preschool children not only suffer with depression, their symptoms are often unnoticed and thus the condition goes undiagnosed. Recent findings on preschool depression indicate that it is not a temporary condition and that early detection is important.

May 20, 2010 (Babble)
Raising Bilingual Kids
These days most experts agree that the developing mind can easily handle the double input. And research is beginning to show that, in addition to the linguistic benefits, learning multiple languages might provide valuable mental exercise for kids that could have positive long-term effects.

May 20, 2010 (WFMY TV, Greenesboro, NC)
North Carolina ranks among nation's top two states for pre-K education
For the second year in a row, North Carolina ranks among the nation's top two states for preschool education. The state tied Alabama for first, scoring a perfect 10. It's also the fifth time the state placed in the top 10.

May 19, 2010 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Parents who engage their young children in conversational give-and-take help their offspring gain a significant leg up in terms of language acquisition, new Dutch research reveals. The boost to childhood language proficiency appears to be predicated on allowing children to engage in so-called "serious" conversations with their family members -- dialogues that permit them to make meaningful contributions to the subject at hand.

May 18, 2010 (The Sentinel, Lewistown, PA)
Business leaders address early childhood education
Return of investment of early childhood education includes school success, graduation, work force readiness and job productivity, [former president and CEO of Weis Markets Inc. Norm] Rich said. "Investing in children is investing in America," he said.

May 18, 2010 (The Christian Science Monitor)
Report: Reading skills in early grades are crucial to success
A new report argues that third-grade reading proficiency heavily influences later achievement, including high school graduation. What's needed, say the report's authors and other education advocates, is more focus on children's 0-8 years, as well as a system that does a better job of integrating early-childhood education, K-12, parental support, and health and human services.

May 17, 2010 (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)
States' budget problems cut into help for children
All over the country, the financial crisis has forced states to make cuts to close what the National Conference of State Legislatures found was an overall budget gap of $174.1 billion this fiscal year and has lawmakers looking to cut another $89 billion next year. That means slashing services to children, the one population they have long protected.

May 16, 2010 (The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, IN)
Editorial: Learning from the START
The economic tailspin forcing states to look closely at spending priorities didn't keep 29 states from increasing enrollment in their preschool programs last year. Regrettably, Indiana still languishes among the handful of backward states with no support for high-quality pre-K.

May 16, 2010 (The Charleston Gazette)
Op-Ed: Child's first years are key to success -- or failure
What West Virginia needs is greater investment in early childhood education, especially for the poorest and most disadvantaged of children. Almost one-third of West Virginia's youngest children under 5 live in poverty. If we do not address their needs, we will never achieve the prosperity we all desire.

Child Development, Volume 81, Issue 3 (May/June 2010)
Among the articles in this issue are the results from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development that tracks children to the age of 15, finding that the positive effects from high-quality child care last into the teenage years. Another article discusses findings of a study looking at very young children's topographic representations of their own bodies, finding that children possess an explicit, if rudimentary, topographic representation of their own body's shape, structure, and size by 30 months of age.

Leadership Matters FY11
The latest edition of this annual report from Pre-K Now finds that if all of the governors' FY 2011 budgets were to pass as proposed, total state pre-K funding would remain roughly the same as FY 2010 – about $5.3 billion. Beyond the national total lie big variations, ranging from expansion plans in Alabama to elimination of state pre-K in Arizona. Nine governors propose expanding pre-K, 10 propose flat-funding it, and 12 propose cutting funding.

Listening and Learning About Early Learning Tour
This web page gathers in one place presentations made by prominent education experts who participated in U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services (HHS) recent Listening and Learning About Early Learning meetings. The presentations address four subject areas: Understanding Preschool–Grade 3 Structures, Workforce and Professional Development, Family Engagement, and Standards and Assessments.

Among the 16 presenters were Jerry Weast, superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland; Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute in New York; Marcy Whitebook, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley; Eugene Garcia, vice president for education partnerships at Arizona State University (and a NIEER scientific advisory board member); Ruby Takanishi, president of the Foundation for Child Development; Deborah Leong, Metropolitan State College, Denver, Colorado (and a NIEER senior research fellow); and Linda Espinosa, associate professor, University of Missouri, Columbia (and a former NIEER co-director).

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