Sixty-two percent of Head Start teachers nationwide now hold a bachelor’s degree, surpassing a federal guideline calling for at least half of the teachers to hold the advanced degree by this fall, according to a brief by the New America Foundation released earlier this month.
In California, only 48 percent of Head Start teachers have met that bar, according to the California Head Start Association.
via California Head Start teachers lag behind national average in earning bachelor’s degrees – by Lillian Mongeau.
FAIRFIELD — First 5 Solano made a pitch to the business community on Wednesday concerning the county’s youth.
The group hosted the Solano Economic Development Corp. breakfast. It asked businesses and individuals to sponsor sending children to pre-kindergarten academies this summer.
“Today, our goal is really to pique your interest and get your commitment on behalf of Solano County’s youngest citizens,” Solano County Supervisor Linda Seifert told the gathering at the Hilton Garden Inn.
via Solano EDC breakfast focuses on children.
By Lillian Mongeau
Early education advocates in California were hoping for
increases in preschool and child care funding in the governor’s revised budget, released Tuesday. No such luck.
“The governor talks a lot about educational equity and equality of opportunity,” said Scott Moore, policy analyst for the early education advocacy group Early Edge California. “He is really missing the boat when it comes to preschool.”
via Early education advocates disappointed with governor’s revised budget – by Lillian Mongeau.
In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidelines on how doctors should treat preschoolers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The first step should be parent and/or teacher-administered behavioral therapy. If symptoms continue, the next step is medication with methylphenidate, better known under the brand names Ritalin or Concerta.
But only about 10 percent of medical specialists responding to a survey on their treatment methods said that they followed those guidelines exactly. Many chose medication as a first-line treatment; others chose to prescribe different types of medication, or refused to prescribe drugs even when behavioral therapy was not showing success.
via Doctors Deviate From Guidelines When Treating ADHD in Preschoolers.
By Christina Arrostuto
Bryan-Braker Funeral Home President/Owner Craig Bryan comes from a long line of educators. When he heard that Solano businesses are being asked to help children who have never been to preschool, he jumped at the chance. Bryan-Braker donated $400 which will be matched by First 5 Solano to send two youngsters to summer “Pre-Kindergarten Academies.”
Pre-K Academies are hosted by school districts and other providers in every Solano city, and feature both academics and social-emotional development activities that promote school readiness. Studies show that young children without any preschool experience quickly fall behind their classmates, and are more likely to falter in the critical early grades.
via Solano ‘Business Champion’ Gives Kindly to Local Pre-Schoolers.
In this well-argued talk, Timothy Bartik makes the macro-economic case for preschool education — and explains why you should be happy to invest in it, even if you don’t have kids that age (or kids at all). The economic benefits of well-educated kids, it turns out, go well beyond the altruistic.
via TED: Timothy Bartik: The economic case for preschool – Timothy Bartik (2012).
I had intended to write about the prospects of financial disaster in America in this column. I may do that next month. Today, I would rather write about something very positive instead: The arrival of literacy in Fairfield-Suisun School District.
I have been an almost constant critic of the failure of public schools to build foundations in language for many of their students. Almost 50 percent of fourth-graders have been reading below basic for more than 20 years.
via District takes bold step toward child literacy.
Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education
via Overview of State’s Child Care and Development System.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says he thinks the time has come for a sweeping expansion of early-childhood education programs, like the one that President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union speech. And he’s hoping to get as many states as possible on board.
“The average child from a disadvantaged country comes to school a year to a year and half behind,” Duncan told reporters during a round table discussion Monday in which he made a sales pitch for the program, which faces long odds on Capitol Hill in an austere federal budget year. “Politicians are used to thinking short term. This is the ultimate long-term play.”
via Arne Duncan Makes Pitch to Expand Early-Childhood Education.
By Lillian Mongeau
California earned a lackluster rating on state spending, preschool access and program quality for early childhood education for the 2011-12 school year, according to the annual State of Preschool Report released Monday by the National Institute for Early Education Research.
Since early childhood education is not part of the K-12 system in most states, funding for and provision of the service varies widely. The annual report by the Rutgers University-based research organization is the only national study that gathers funding and policy data on early childhood education from each state and puts it into a comprehensive report that measures spending on a per-pupil basis.
via California earns mediocre marks on national study of early childhood education – by Lillian Mongeau.
Get ready for more Race to the Top.
Armed with another $490 million, the U.S. Department of Education is poised to award new Race to the Top grants to districts for general education-improvement ideas, and to states for more early-learning initiatives.
About $120 million of the federal fiscal 2013 funds will go to a second round of the Race to the Top district competition, which awarded $383 million to 16 districts in 2012 for proposals that focused on personalized learning.
via Nearly $500 million From Race to Top To Fund Early Learning, District Ideas.
By Lillian Mongeau
A much-disputed daily fee for families with children in state-funded preschool programs will likely be removed from next year’s state budget.
Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, who chairs the budget subcommittee on education finance, said the fee, which was added to the budget for the first time last year, was a mistake. “We did it for a year and it didn’t work,” she said. “We have the opportunity to evaluate it and say the value is not there.”
via Family fee for half-day state preschool likely to be rescinded – by Lillian Mongeau.
By Lillian Mongeau
Ross Thompson is a distinguished professor of psychology at University of California, Davis. He studies healthy adult-child attachments and how they relate to learning and uses his research to inform public policy. Thompson is a frequent speaker on early childhood education and has testified in the state Legislature about the need for better funding for early childhood programs. Thompson’s wife, whom he refers to often when speaking about his research, is a preschool teacher. As part of an occasional Question and Answer series with leaders in California education, Thompson sat down with EdSource Today’s Lillian Mongeau in April to talk about early education policy.
via Q & A: Early learning revolves around emotional connections – by Lillian Mongeau.
As the federal sequestration budget cuts kick in, Head Start providers across California are struggling to decide how to absorb the shortfall without hurting children.
For most programs, it boils down to a question of whether to cut school days or serve fewer children.
“It’s kind of like a ‘Sophie’s Choice,’” said Rick Mockler, the executive director of the California Head Start Association. “Do you diminish everyone’s education a little bit (by cutting days) or do you cut out some children altogether?”
via Head Start programs across the state cut services, children – by Lillian Mongeau.
Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance
via Notable Reductions to Child Care and Development System in Recent Years.
By Lillian Mongeau
Four new pieces of legislation aimed at expanding preschool nationally have been introduced in the U.S. Senate in the weeks since President Barack Obama made a call for universal preschool in his State of the Union address, according to Education Week.
In the January address, Obama said the federal government would partner with states to expand public preschool offerings for 4-year-olds. Two pieces of proposed legislation closely mirror the president’s proposal to form partnerships, another suggests offering competitive grants to states to form or expand programs, and yet another focuses on increasing parents’ access to information on where to enroll in early childhood programs.
via Senators introduce preschool bills since State of the Union – by Lillian Mongeau.
By Donna Beth Weilenman, Staff Reporter
Benicia Unified School District has been awarded $10,000 from First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission for a pre-kindergarten summer academy, Christina Arrostuto, First 5 executive director, said.
The BUSD share is part of $149,508 First 5 Solano is giving to eight school districts and educational agencies that have organized such sessions, Arrostuto said.
The academies are expected to help up to 425 Solano County children prepare for kindergarten, she said.
via BUSD gets $10,000 for pre-K academy.
Prekindergarten is the hottest issue under the sun these days, ever since President Barack Obama made it a focal point of his State of the Union address, then released the bare bones of a plan to expand prekindergarten access to more low-income 4-year-olds. On the heels of the announcement, some folks in Congress released legislation aimed at expanding access to early childhood education programs. The measures include:
•A bill by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee who has been interested in early childhood education issues for quite some time, put forth a bill that sounds like it’s got a lot in common with some of the administration’s ideas to expand early learning. For one thing, it has a similar goal—providing high-quality prekindergarten to low-income families—although Casey would add a focus on kids with special needs.
via Lawmakers Eye Early Childhood Expansion.
By Lillian Mongeau
Scott Moore has been an advocate of early childhood education for California’s youngest children for years. He served as the executive director of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s Early Learning Advisory Council from 2010 to 2011. As the senior policy adviser at Preschool California, an advocacy organization, Moore has pushed for the creation of transitional kindergarten and the consolidation of the state’s various early education initiatives to create its current state preschool program. As part of an occasional Question and Answer series with leaders in California education, Moore sat down with EdSource Today’s Lillian Mongeau last month to talk about early education policy.
via Scott Moore: Not investing in preschool is ‘mortgaging our future’ – by Lillian Mongeau.
On Thursday, President Obama unveiled some of the details of his proposal for universal pre-K education. Robert Siegel talks with University of Chicago economist James Heckman, who’s studied the benefits to society of early intervention.
via Study: Pre-K Investment Pays Off With Higher Incomes, Reduced Crime.