Renascence School Education News - private school

Thursday, April 16, 2015

US Dept of Ed Pushes for Expansion of High-Quality Preschools

Education News – Grace Smith

“This year, Congress is seeking to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and as a part of that goal create equity of opportunity, starting with the country’s youngest children. A document published by the US Department of Education this month, entitled A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America, spells out the issues at hand that must be addressed in order to offer quality early childhood education to families in every geographic area, of every race, and of every socioeconomic level…Research suggests, according to the Department, that children who participate in high-quality preschool programs have better health, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes than children who do not have that privilege. Studies cited by the Department have also shown that for every $1 spent on expanding early learning opportunities – including high-quality preschool – there is a return on the investment of $8.60.”(more)

Investing in education: A smart strategy to improve health and curb the costs of care

The Hill – Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H.

“As Congress irons out spending priorities for the coming year, education funding is sure to be on the table. Budget talks around education will understandably center on how a better educated citizenry can fuel our nation’s economic growth and competitiveness. What’s likely to be less talked about among our lawmakers – but critically important to the conversation – is how investing in education a smart strategy to improve our nation’s health and curb the rising costs of medical care. We know that education plays a key role in shaping health outcomes, and the price paid for a lost education—in terms of life expectancy and disease rates—has never been greater. Research finds that Americans with less education live shorter lives and are prone to higher rates of disease, and those without a high school diploma are living sicker, shorter lives than they did in the 1990s. That’s why our leaders in Congress must approach budget conversations with a comprehensive understanding of education – from early learning to improved access to college and job training – as a means to not only better our nation’s economic standing and the next generation’s job prospects, but also to make a lasting impact on public health and help control the spiraling costs of health care.”(more)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Capitalizing on children’s motivation to discover key in early education

The Grand Forks Herald – Pamela Knudson

“It may look like children are just playing—as they giggle, babble and analyze items that have caught their eye and sparked their curiosity. But they’re actually engrossed in the important work of building the foundation on which future learning depends, early childhood education specialists say. In the earliest years of a child’s life, the brain is buzzing with activity, rapidly constructing the framework for learning. It’s a critical time “because everything they’re experiencing is brand new,” said Dawnita Nilles, child-care licensor for Grand Forks County Social Services. “Any experience a child has is creating a chemical reaction in the brain,” said Judy Milavetz, early childhood educator. Both women are organizers of the Hands-on Learning Fair, set for Saturday at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks.”(more)

Monday, April 13, 2015


Education Next – Chester E. Finn, Jr

“The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, unveiled a few days back by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray and scheduled for HELP Committee mark-up on April 14, is a remarkable piece of work. The mere fact that it’s bipartisan is remarkable enough, given the polarized state of Capitol Hill nowadays. But it’s also a reasonable, forward-looking compromise among strongly divergent views of the federal role in K–12 education—and between the overreach (and attendant backlash) of NCLB and some people’s conviction that NCLB didn’t reach far enough. The draft has received much applause—some of it muted, some tentative—from many quarters (including the Obama administration). Indeed, some Washington wags have remarked that if so many different factions are saying nice things about it, either they haven’t actually read it or there must be something wrong with it! I like most of it myself, though I (as with perhaps everyone else who has said anything positive) hope that the refinements to be offered in committee and on the floor will yield something that I like even better. I’m mindful, though, that the amending process in the Senate alone is where bipartisanship could get unstuck. This is to say nothing of what might happen if and when it gets to conference with the House Republicans’ version of an ESEA reauthorization, currently awaiting floor action.”(more)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Building a Solid Foundation

U.S. News and World Report – Sara Mead

“In debates about education, early childhood often comes across as K-12’s overlooked little sibling. With no guaranteed access for children and families, lower resource levels and lower quality standards for many programs, the early childhood field lacks many things that the K-12 system takes for granted. It can be tempting to think the solution is to make early childhood – or at least pre-K – look more like the K-12 system. But that would be wrong. Young children have unique early learning needs, and the educational approaches – to instruction, curriculum and assessment – that work best for young children are different from those commonly used in K-12 schools. In fact, not only do good early childhood programs look different from K-12 schools, the K-12 system – particularly the early elementary grades – could learn some things from early childhood. Although our public education system arbitrarily starts at age 5, child development experts define early childhood as the period from birth through age 8. This means that roughly a quarter of the children in our public education system – those in grades K-3 – are still in early childhood and could benefit from educational approaches that are common in pre-K, but rare in K-12 schools.”(more)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Building a Solid Foundation

U.S. News & World Report – Sara Mead

“To maximize children’s chances of success in school and life, we need to ensure that they can read by third grade and also have the math, self-regulatory and interpersonal skills that predict later success in both school and life. Achieving this goal will require expanding access to high-quality early childhood experiences. But it also requires changing practices in grades K-3 to better support young children’s learning and development as well as building linkages between pre-K and elementary schools. While we should be concerned about the millions of children that lack access to pre-K, we should pay equal attention to improving the quality of education for the millions more who are currently enrolled in our nation’s elementary schools – and may not be getting what they need to succeed.”(more)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dear World, Your Grade For Educating Your Children Is …

NPR – Marc Silver

“It seems like a simple goal: All kids should go to primary school. People began talking about it in the 1960s. And they kept talking about it. “Everyone thought it was pretty doable, it wasn’t too big of a deal,” recalls Aaron Benavot, director of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report. But for lots of reasons — cutbacks on government spending, no schoolhouse within an easy commute — it just wasn’t happening. So in 2000, 164 nations got together and pledged “Education For All” by 2015…Today, the report card came out. According to the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, 58 million children do not attend primary school. As the BBC put it: “World fails to reach millennium education targets.”…Maybe it’s better to say: Let’s use a yardstick to figure out how much progress has been made. Has the pace of change accelerated from the 1990s to the period after 2000? And we have many instances where the evidence suggests the pace of change has quickened. Many countries have made substantial progress even if we haven’t reached targets.”(more)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America

Homeroom – Staff Writer

“All parents hope their child will start school ready for success. Unfortunately, not every parent can find the high-quality early learning opportunity that sets their child up for success. Earlier today the U.S. Department of Education released a new report outlining the unmet need for high-quality early learning programs in America. Roughly 6 in 10 four-year-olds are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs, and even fewer are enrolled in the highest quality programs…Significant new investments in high-quality early education are necessary to help states, local communities, and parents close the readiness gap that exists between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers.”(more)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

More time isn’t always better for your kids

The Washington Post – Melissa Milkie, Kei Nomaguchi and Kathleen Denny

“In a recent study, we looked at whether the amount of time mothers spend with their children is related to children’s and adolescents’ well-being. The study garnered a lot of attention from the public and the media—including some criticism—in part because it had a perhaps surprising finding: We found that the quantity of time mothers spend with children – either engaged in activities with them or just present – doesn’t have a link to the emotional or behavioral health, or math and reading scores, of kids aged 3 to 11. We did find a relationship for teenagers, though, with more quantity time engaged with mothers in activities related to less delinquent behavior among teens and engaged time with mothers and fathers together linked to better behavioral health, math scores and less risky behavior. In New York Times Upshot columns responding to our study, which was first covered in The Post, the economist Justin Wolfers questioned our findings, saying the measure of maternal time we used might not be a reliable indicator because it might capture atypical days. He uses the example of family vacation to Disney World – if a child was randomly sampled on a trip there, the diary might show that the child and mother were together for more hours than if the child were sampled on a more typical day. This could make the data “noisier” and thus harder to detect an effect of mothers’ time even if one did exist. He suggests that the diary data may have missed capturing a positive effect of maternal time on child outcomes.”(more)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

High-quality early childhood education should be a top priority

The Dayton Daily News – Staff Writer

“In the fall of 1979, I entered the world of kindergarten. The days were short and only consisted of a half day of learning. We spent most of our time at school playing and making arts and crafts. We had story time, learned a bit of our alphabet and some counting. We had quiet listening time and would eat a snack and then go home to our parents. Fast forward to the world of kindergarten in the 21st century… Today, students are preparing at an earlier age for third grade testing — by beginning first-grade reading curriculum in kindergarten. Most students attend kindergarten full day and are expected to be able to recognize and write their names, know the entire alphabet complete with the sounds the words make, and be able to count from 1 to 100. Today’s 5-year-olds aren’t seen as babies anymore, kindergarten academic standards have become more rigorous with content promoting the importance of early learning. Just a decade ago, only 15 percent of kindergartners were readers. If we go back 30 years, the number shrinks to only 5 percent.”(more)