Andrew Gillum’s Campaign to Bring Home Play

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It’s not easy keeping up with the latest in education policy. I have to wade through lots of detritus in my inbox. And we haven’t even begun to talk about social media, to which, like other previously sentient beings, I have become addicted. I may have to check myself into one of China’s digital detox camps soon.

But I’m compelled to abide by that maxim, attributed, variously, to Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”— the one about keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer.

As a result, I field frequent emails from the Foundation for . . . Read full article →

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Susan DuFresne’s Model Agenda for the Early Childhood Resistance

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Teachers across America are the casualties of education reform run amok. Their expertise is ignored, they’re evaluated via discredited metrics based on student test scores, and they’re expected to compensate for all manner of society’s ills. No wonder they’re quitting at record rates. But the ascent of Betsy DeVos has engendered a new spirit of activism, and reinvigorated those on the front lines of resistance.

Early childhood educators are relative newcomers to the action. Long marginalized as a workforce, most of those who teach our youngest children have been slow to raise their voices in public. Not Susan DuFresne.

. . . Read full article →

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Revitalizing the Children’s Garden

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There’s a crisis in the American kindergarten. It’s become the new first grade—if not beyond. In April, more than 200 teachers descended on Bank Street College of Education in New York City to reaffirm the unique and vital role of kindergarten in children’s lives.

“Play is the highest expression of the child’s development,” Friedrich Froebel wrote in the Education of Man. We have to forgive the beloved founder of kindergarten for his lapse from gender neutrality, Cecilia Traugh, Bank Street’s dean of the graduate school, reminded the audience as the celebration began. He lived in the 18th and . . . Read full article →

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Kaliris Salas-Ramirez: Caught in the Crossfire of a Battle for Democracy

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Central Park East 1, a small, public elementary school in East Harlem, has been under siege for more than a year, a battleground for democracy. Founded by renowned educator, writer, and activist Deborah Meier in 1974, this outpost for progressive, developmentally attuned practice is one of a dwindling number of options in New York City for leveling the playing field for young children.

A neuroscientist who was born and grew up in Puerto Rico, Kaliris Salas-Ramirez is an assistant professor at the medical school of the City University of New York, and co-president of the Parents . . . Read full article →

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