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CAP: High-Quality Universal Pre-K May Reduce Achievement Gap

Education News – Grace Smith

“The Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan policy organization that is aimed at improving Americans’ lives…says that providing early childhood education programs ensures that students will enter kindergarten with a solid academic foundation…The authors explain that the elements of “quality” in early learning are not uniformly agreed upon by educators. But they attempt to define it generally as a program that hires teachers with strong educational backgrounds in child development. They also have found that effective programs use research-based curricula that meet the needs of the whole child. Quality programs also employ teachers who engage children in well-planned, warm, and intellectually stimulating interactions. Additionally, class sizes are small, and the classroom has a variety of developmentally appropriate learning activities and materials.”(more)

Why Oklahoma’s public preschools are some of the best in the country

The Hechinger Report – LILLIAN MONGEAU

“Oklahoma has fully funded 4-year-old preschool for every child, regardless of family income, since 1998. As long as a child is 4-years-old by Sept. 1, he or she is qualified to attend school. Seventy-six percent of the state’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in 2014, a total of 40,823 children and one of the highest enrollment percentages in the country, according to the latest annual State of Preschool report by the National Institute for Early Education Research…third grade reading scores for children who attended the program after 2006 have risen. Phillips and her colleagues found that preschool grads’ attentiveness in class had increased and timidity had decreased by a significant amount. And economists, led by Timothy J. Bartik of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, a think tank, have even predicted Tulsa preschool grads will earn higher salaries based on their elementary school test scores, which have previously been linked to earnings.”(more)

More Ambition Needed to Finish the Job for Out-of-School Children

The Huffington Post – Kolleen Buchane

“This year is particularly important for our work on creating a more just and equitable world. It’s the deadline world leaders set for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Among these goals was the commitment to get all children everywhere access to at least a basic education by the end of 2015–MDG 2. Progress has been made, but not nearly enough. At this pace we will not finish the job. At this pace, the last poor girl in Africa will not have a seat in the classroom until 2086. At least 58 million children remain out of school and it is estimated that at least 250 million more are in the classroom but are not learning…It’s a bleak picture. But it can change. The changes needed to finish the job include:”(more)

Every Child Has the Right to an Education

Global Partnership for Education – Jo Bourne

“For those of us committed to children’s education, today is a day for celebration – Universal Children’s Day and the 25th anniversary of the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Many of us at UNICEF have marked the day by taking a look back and asking, “Is the world a better place for children than it was 25 years ago?” When it comes to education, it is fair to say, “Yes, for many children it is.””(more)

UNESCO Report: Universal Primary Education a Long Way Off

Education News – Grace Smith

“The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), states in a new report that in order to get every child in an elementary school classroom by 2015, 4 million more teachers will be needed…At this time, there are 58 million children of primary school age worldwide who are not in classrooms.” (more)

De Blasio Cheers on National Pre-K Movement

WNYC SchoolBook – Robin Shulman

“In a speech to national advocates for pre-kindergarten, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday eased into his role as the face of a movement for access to early childhood education… “We’ve got to say that full-day high quality pre-k is going to be the national standard.”” (more)