Early Education in the News

LA Times (Opinion)
May 17, 2014

Education has long been the traditional route to opportunity for American families of modest means. But a growing educational achievement gap between low-income and affluent kids is making that path both harder and less accessible.

And the gap is getting wider, mostly because wealthy kids' test scores have been improving dramatically while middle-class kids' have improved only slightly over time. "The top has pulled away from the middle," says Sean Reardon of Stanford's Graduate School of Education.

Strikingly, much of that income differential in test scores shows up among kids who are tested in the first months of kindergarten, before they've spent significant time in school. "It's preschool," Reardon said, along with "the out-of-school environment, that creates the gap." Affluent kids are far more likely to get a good preschool education and have parents who read to them and nurseries full of educational toys.

Tuscaloosa News
May 17, 2014

Alabama’s First Class Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program leads the nation in quality for the eighth year in a row, according to a new study released May 13. Alabama is one of only four states in the country to meet all 10 quality benchmarks established by the National Institute for Early Education Research.

“The NIEER study recognizes Alabama’s commitment to the quality and design of our pre-K program, and the results show that this program is a powerful investment with short-term and long-term benefits for children,” said Jeana Ross, commissioner of the Department of Children’s Affairs. Alabama’s voluntary pre-K program is managed by the Office of School Readiness, which is part of the Department of Children’s Affairs.

NBC 10 News
May 16, 2014

According to a new report from the National Institute of Early Education Research at Rutgers, Rhode Island is just one of four states to meet all ten of their quality-standard benchmarks.

Education Week
May 16, 2014

Four-year-olds in several of the most rural states lack access to state-funded preschool programs, but those who do have access are most likely in high-quality programs, according to the State of Preschool Yearbook 2013.

District Administration
May 15, 2014

De Blasio’s efforts to expand pre-K are part of a nationwide trend, with dozens of cities and states, governors and city council members considering ways to boost early childhood learning programs.

The Seattle Times
May 15, 2014

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray believes that making preschool free or at least affordable for all families in Seattle would be his most important work in office. But he doesn’t want to rush it.

On Thursday he proposed placing a four-year, $58 million property-tax levy on the November ballot that would focus first on boosting the quality of existing programs, then on ramping up enrollment.

Greater Greater Education
May 15, 2014

Almost 1 in 5 DC preschoolers had more than 10 unexcused absences last year, according to a study recently released by DC Action for Children, a nonprofit that focuses on disadvantaged children in DC. And because that figure doesn't count excused absences, it almost certainly understates the problem. . .

Studies have shown that chronic absenteeism in preschool is correlated with academic problems later on, especially if those children are low-income.
LA Times
May 15, 2014

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg strongly criticized Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal on Wednesday, signaling the potential for difficult spending negotiations in the weeks ahead. . . Universal preschool, which could cost $1 billion a year, remains a goal for Steinberg. He said Brown is wrong to ignore the benefits of expanding early childhood education.

El Pregonero [This article is in Spanish]
May 15, 2014

Although increasingly more recognize the benefits of starting education at an early age, enrollment of four year-olds decreased for the first time in a decaderegistering a reduction of 9,000. 

News Channel 5
May 15, 2014

State funded preschool enrollment declined for the first time since 2002 but local school officials say the number is set to rise back up. A study released by the National Institute for Early Education Research says in the 2012-2013 school year, less students were enrolled in state funded preschools. The findings show that only one in five four 4-year-old were enrolled in the program. A recent statement from the Colorado Preschool Program says those numbers are only temporary

The Huffington Post [Op-Ed]
May 15, 2014

A new State Preschool Yearbook looking at California's early learning programs found that our state is moving in the wrong direction. We are one of only five states in America that meet fewer than half of 10 quality benchmarks. . . 

As home to one in eight of America's children, California has the opportunity to move the nation in the right direction. According to a report by the National Institute for Early Education Research, the decrease in California children served in early learning programs actually "pulled the national total down."
The New York Times
May 14, 2014

Yet today the American dream has derailed, partly because of growing inequality. . . 

We could stop subsidizing private jets and too-big-to-fail banks, and direct those funds to early education programs that help break the cycle of poverty. We can invest less in prisons and more in schools.
Las Vegas Sun
May 14, 2014

Nevada continues to have one of the lowest preschool spending and enrollment levels nationally, according to a Rutgers University report released this week. . . The National Institute for Early Education Research, a nonpartisan research organization at the New Jersey university, has tracked student enrollment levels and state spending on preschool programs since 2002. The group's "2013 State Preschool Yearbook" looked at spending and enrollment levels from the 2012-13 school year.

Montgomery Advertiser
May 14, 2014
This fall, more than 7,300 4-year-olds across Alabama will be given the opportunity to go to preschool for free — at one of the best state-run programs in the country.
For the eighth year in a row, Alabama's First Class voluntary pre-kindergarten program is one of five states in the country that met all the quality benchmarks set out by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). On Tuesday, Gov. Robert Bentley also announced the recipients of grants that will give 1,800 more students access to pre-k classrooms in 40 counties this fall. The state Legislature this spring passed an Education Trust Fund budget that allocated an additional $10 million to expand pre-k, bringing total spending for the program to about $38 million.


The Plain Dealer
May 14, 2014

Democrat Ed FitzGerald unveiled his first detailed policy plan Wednesday — a plan for state-funded preschool for all Ohio 3-and 4-year-olds. . .

Altogether, only about 13 percent of 3-year-olds and 19 percent of 4-year-olds in Ohio are enrolled in public preschool programs, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.
May 14, 2014

The Cincinnati Preschool Promise – a movement to bring quality preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds – has built momentum to secure a safer, more employable, more prosperous city. Despite the Cincinnati Preschool Promise's good efforts, however, much of our population remains unaware of the importance of early childhood education.

USC Annenberg
May 14, 2014

This all means we’re fast approaching a pre-K golden age, right?

new report out this week from the National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER) cleanly punctures that fantasy. Or more precisely, if major changes are indeed afoot, they had yet to surface in time for last year’s data. NIEER’s yearbook finds total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs was down slightly in 2012-13, while per-child funding flat-lined.

Wall Street Journal
May 13, 2014

This video from the Wall Street Journal shows preschool enrollment dropped between in 2013, the benefits of big data are starting to show up in the doctor's office, how wearable tech is now invading the nursery, and more. 

May 13, 2014

Public preschool enrollment fell slightly last year, according to a report released today by researchers at Rutgers University.

About 9,000 fewer children attended public pre-K programs in 2013 than in 2012, the report from the university's National Institute for Early Education Research says. It's the first time since researchers began examining this issue in 2002 that the numbers have fallen.

The decline is surprising, given the increasing public discussion about the importance of early childhood education. 

MundoFox [This article is in Spanish]
May 13, 2014
The number of children enrolled in preschool programs supported by States decreased for the first time in more than one decade, standing at 1.3 million for the school year that ended in the year 2013, driven by reductions in States like California and Pennsylvania. . .
Currently ten States in the country do not economically support early education programs.