Early Learning, Center Stage

I’m feeling a bit bipolar at the moment. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was lamenting the ugly tenor of the education reform debate, highlighting the scapegoating of parents? And today, I’m coming down from the high of watching Arne Duncan and Kathleen Sebelius jointly announce $500 million worth of funding for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge competitive grants to states.

“A historic moment,” I wrote to my ECE colleagues, here in my hometown of NYC. “Victory,” emailed a colleague right back. “Big Good News!” exulted NAEYC’s Children’s Champions . “Breaking . . . Read full article →

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Greensboro, NC: Systems Mecca

I spent most of the first week of May inside a convention center in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the National Smart Start conference. This was my first pilgrimage, I have to confess, to the mecca for ECE system-builders, and I was quickly swept up into the spirit of the event, with its sessions on early childhood systems development; health and mental health; governance and administration; research, standards, and accountability; and public engagement and advocacy. No sing-outs here, nor touchy-feely workshops that we know have minimal impact on practitioner growth and effectiveness.

Before and during the conference, my inbox . . . Read full article →

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