Children, Poverty, and Outcomes: Who's Distorting Reality?

Yesterday, I happened upon the latest blog post of Amanda Ripley, an up-and-coming edu-pundit who recently changed focus from how the brain works under extreme duress to how other countries “build” smarter kids. “Reality Distortion Field,” is a frontal assault on Diane Ravitch and others who declare poverty “a problem so intractable that schools cannot be expected to overcome it.” The same debate, she states, gleefully, citing an old story from the New York Times, was used to defend low-performing, segregated public schools in New York City in the 1960s.

Wouldn’t you know that on the . . . Read full article →

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New York ECE: On the Record and Racing to the Top

Hail, Nicholas Kristof, for moving the “national newspaper of record” toward our team. It’s about time. “Occupy the Classroom,” his paean to early childhood education is, as I write, number six on the New York Times “Most Emailed” list. How clever of him to transpose the country’s fixation on Wall Street and income inequality into a well-reasoned treatise on the benefits of early childhood education. Expansion of ECE may seem “naïve and bizarre,” he writes, to those who “chafe at inequities.” Is it “absurd,” he asks, to expand ECE in the current economy?

Don’t roll your . . . Read full article →

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Immigrant Children: In and Out of the Shadows

The Fall Harvard Education Review arrived just the other day, bringing poignant scenes, voices, and data from one of the most troubling spheres of modern life. As the nation struggles with gridlock on so many fronts—political, civic, economic, you name it—battle weariness is becoming an occupational hazard. But the plight of our immigrant children and youth—especially those of undocumented, or to use the preferred term, “unauthorized,” parents—deserves careful attention, especially down at the early end of the education spectrum, where developmental paths begin.

According to Lynn Karoly and Gabriella Gonzalez, contributors to this spring’s reader-worthy Future of . . . Read full article →

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School Daze: An ECE Systems Update

Where did the summer go? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we welcomed the solstice? What havoc nature wreaked: earthquake, hurricanes, epic floods and drought. Not to mention our human-made disasters: debt ceiling hysteria, a dangerously stalled economy, rising unemployment. And a poverty rate for children of 22 percent. Then there was Rick Santorum’s rant against federal intervention in early education. “The government wants their hand on your children as fast as they can,” he warned in a town hall meeting in Iowa, referring to “early starts, pre-early starts, and early-early starts” as indoctrination that only a socialist could . . . Read full article →

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