A Brief Meditation on Educational Equity

A headline in my hometown paper this week pierced the eerie quiet of the waning summer in NYC. “Triumph Fades on Racial Gap in City Schools,” it proclaimed, topping an article with damning data about the discrepancies in math and reading scores between African-American and Hispanic third- through eighth-graders and their white peers. The findings, of course, represent a slap in the face to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein, whose education policies have attracted attention at the national level, and from the Broad Foundation, which awarded the city its coveted annual prize in 2007 to school . . . Read full article →

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QRIS: An Acronym Worth Knowing

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in acronyms? I do. ECE and the programs, structures, initiatives, tools, and policies that define it are nothing less than alphabet soup: CCDBG, HHS, DOE, IFSP, ECCS, NYSED, ITERS, ECCRS, NYCDOE, NCLB, ECMH, ACS. And that’s just a handful.

But here’s one acronym to keep squarely on your radar screen: QRIS, or Quality Rating Improvement System. For those of you who haven’t yet assimilated this information into your over-burdened cognitive structures (thanks, Piaget), a QRIS is a strategy for assessing, improving, and disseminating information about the level of quality across all ECE . . . Read full article →

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Advocacy in August

Action and August seem oxymoronic—unless you’re talking about activities that involve cool bodies of water and iced drinks. But ECE policy takes no vacation, so here’s a very quick update on the latest developments in New York City and New York State (my stomping ground), on the federal level, and what you can do to take action.

NYS Teaching Standards The State Education Department has released the Preliminary Draft of New York State Teaching Standards for public review and comment. This is an opportunity to engage all of you in the ECE community, whose concerns about developmentally appropriate practice . . . Read full article →

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Whatever Happened to P-16?

Kudos to Lisa Guernsey, for recently highlighting “a key problem” for early educators: the lack of access, among pre-kindergarten teachers—in state-funded pre-K as well as community-based child care—to federal funding for their professional development.

This “key problem” is one of many systemic issues plaguing early care and education (ECE)—underinvestment, fragmented, low-quality services, inadequate compensation, high turnover—all of which you’ll be hearing about more than you could ever wish. And all of which have maintained ECE’s position as an outlier in U.S. education, not to mention internationally.

Here’s a historical tidbit: From 2000 to 2001, Jeanne Shaheen, then . . . Read full article →

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