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Major Harvard Gift Spurs Early Childhood Education Study

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“The Harvard Graduate School of Education has announced that it will be using a $35 million gift to launch a new early childhood program that will conduct one of the largest studies performed in decades on pre-K education. “It’s one of the most significant investments in early childhood education,” said the graduate school’s dean, James Ryan. “I think it will give us the capacity to tackle some of the most important issues and challenges in early childhood education, which are basically about how you create high quality pre-K for all kids.”…The study will focus on the key questions facing policymakers today, including those concerning scale, the long-term impacts of early education, and what is needed for a successful model.”(more)

Project Lead The Way Grants Aim to Boost STEM Ed in Hawaii

Education News – Jace Harr

“Twelve high schools in Hawaii have been announced as the recipients of a multi-year, $2.2 million grant to improve science, math, engineering, and technology education, as well as college and career readiness. The initiative to improve the state’s innovation economy and workforce was announced in January by Governor David Ige. The state is working in partnership with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and USA Funds. According to the PLTW website, the programs are project-based and focus on giving students a chance to apply their knowledge, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own education…[they] empower students to develop the knowledge and transportable skills they need to thrive in our advancing, high-tech economy…The state of Hawaii is desperately in need of more workers trained in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields…”(more)

Walton Foundation Puts Up $1 Billion To Boost Charters

Associated Press – KELLY P. KISSEL

“A foundation run by the heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton said Thursday it will spend $1 billion over the next five years to improve public education by backing new charter schools and helping programs already up and running. The foundation has spent more than $1 billion on K-12 education over the past 20 years, including $385 million to help start charter schools in poor communities. The new money will be spent in places where the foundation already has ties “(more)

Education reform bill provides increased support for early childhood education

EdSource – Susan Frey

“The revision of the No Child Left Behind law has an increased level of support for early childhood education that advocates are calling “historic.” The revision — dubbed the Every Student Succeeds Act — makes permanent a grant program for early education and has a number of new provisions aimed at ensuring the effective use of resources among federal, state and local governments…For the first time since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act — currently referred to as NCLB — was implemented in 1965, the bill recognizes that early childhood education is important in federal and state efforts to close achievement gaps between low-income students and their peers…”(more)

Supporting Innovation in Higher Education through First in the World – Ted Mitchell

“The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to access and complete a postsecondary education. In an era of rapid change and innovation, we have sought to encourage those colleges and universities developing new ways to serve students better, especially low-income and first-generation students. That’s why I’m thrilled that we’ve announced the second round of the First in the World grant program. This year we will award $60 million to colleges and universities to encourage innovative new practices on campuses, including $16 million to Minority Serving Institutions.”(more)

District gets Chinese language grant

The Newberg Graphic – Seth Gordon

“As one of 10 districts in the nation to receive a U.S. State Department grant through the Teachers of Critical Languages program, Newberg Public Schools are in exclusive company. Perhaps more importantly, the district and Newberg High School will become unique in the state as one of the few schools to offer Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language. The grant will pay for the district to host a teacher from China next year, hopefully laying the foundation for a permanent program. “Especially students who go into any kind of business that connects internationally, there just aren’t enough people who can speak that language,” superintendent Kym LeBlanc-Esparza said. “If we can give kids any kind of exposure, that’s a great head start for them.””(more)