Poverty & Education: Social Justice Comes to the ETS

I never would have pegged the Educational Testing Service as a bastion of social justice. But I guess I’ve been looking in all the wrong places. Poverty and Education: Finding the Way Forward, released last summer, is scorching, a report intended to broaden and deepen our understanding of the connections among poverty, education, and outcomes. Full disclosure: the report comes out of ETS’s Center for Research on Human Capital and Education. I guess they just couldn’t avoid the elephant in the room.

Still, I was positively giddy when I stumbled upon the phrase “Even though . . . Read full article →

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Developmentally Inappropriate: ECE's Faustian Bargain

At the turn of the 21st century, Jeanne Shaheen, then governor, now senator, of New Hampshire, put early learning on the map of the Education Commission of the States. Stunning, we all said. Wasn’t it about time? Pre-K had finally entered the big boys’ club.

Still, we worried. Where was child care in this picture? Infants and toddlers? Supports for parents? What about academic pushdown? Beggars, we took this small, and tasty, morsel, a wedge, we convinced ourselves, into the sacred realm—so long off-limits—of the American family. A baby step, to be sure, but we weren’t going backwards: we . . . Read full article →

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Russ Whitehurst's One-Man Crusade Against Early Childhood Education

Today, Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, a veteran of the Brookings Institution, delivered his latest round of salvos against early childhood education at a hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The irony, apparently, whizzed right by him.

Ever since Obama announced his intention to “make high-quality preschool available to every child in America,” almost a year ago, Whitehurst’s been chafing at the bit. He’s put on quite a show, getting under the skin of even those known for their equanimity (present company excluded).

Now that I’ve stopped hyper-ventilating, I’m ready to shoot . . . Read full article →

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Waldorf Schools Come to China

Given early childhood’s high profile these days, I’m smiling a lot. Still, I was pretty tickled by Ian Johnson’s New Yorker piece, “Class Consciousness,” an account of the rise of Waldorf education in the nation that’s not yet, but soon will be, the world’s largest economy. For those of us whose perceptions of Chinese parenting have been filtered through the harsh lens of “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua, who demanded A’s, drilled her kids out the wazoo, and banned sleep-overs, this was something of a revelation.

A growing number of parents among China’s new bourgeoisie, Johnson reports, . . . Read full article →

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