Our Nation is Better than This: A Preschool Speaks Out

Just before twenty first-graders were killed in their beloved elementary school, the Economist Intelligence Unit revealed the results of their “quality of life” index—a survey of nations “where a baby might be luckiest to be born in 2013.” Crime, trust in public institutions, and the health of family life all go into the mix. The U.S.—no surprise—doesn’t make it into the top 10.

As we move into the new year, and President Obama pledges to make gun control “a central issue” in his second term, let us all heed the words below, from the 10th . . . Read full article →

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Break on Through--for Kids

No sooner had tired eyes dried post-Obama victory speech than the ECE policy wonks, edu-pundits, and advocates were in full swing. A host of issues await action in the shadow of the “fiscal cliff”—nearly $500 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts, scheduled for the new year, which pose a grave threat to America’s most vulnerable children.

Over at the New America Foundation, a team of Early Ed bloggers laid out their “Big Questions” as 2012 winds down:

How will the president prioritize early education as legislators and the . . . Read full article →

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Children of the Storm

Outside my window, in New York City, the Hudson River is calm. A surreal vision, belying the devastation of the past two weeks. Amid the wrath of Sandy, two brothers—a toddler and a four-year-old—were snatched from their mother’s arms by Staten Island’s swirling floodwaters. And on October 26, just two Thursdays before the children’s bodies were discovered, a Manhattan mother entered her apartment to find two of her progeny slain, in the bathroom, at the hands of their nanny.

The collision of routine and tragedy is wrenching, perverting the order of things beyond imagination. The mom from one of . . . Read full article →

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Early Childhood at the Table: A Forum on Social Mobility

Early childhood is not a hot topic in the nation’s intellectual salons. Which makes the Boston Review’s “New Democracy Forum” on promoting social mobility nothing short of a revelation. Since early fall, I’ve been lugging around the magazine, whose cover is graced by an adorable infant and a cover line that asks: “IS THIS CHILD DOOMED to a life of low wages, poor health, and crime? Sensationalistic, you bet, but could the cause be better?

Hosting this salon is Nobel prize-winning economist James Heckman, whose praises I often sing, and who, once again, delivers . . . Read full article →

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