Bill de Blasio's Schools Chancellor is Leaving: Who will Restore the Joy to Early Ed?

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Not long before New York City’s public schools closed for winter break, Katie Lapham posted to Twitter a drab black-and-white photograph of a testing manual she had found in her mailbox, the imprimatur of Carmen Fariña in the upper left-hand corner. An elementary school teacher and long-time critic of education policy, Lapham felt sick. “We will continue to refuse the tests,” she wrote, with the hashtag #OptOut2018.

Within days of the delivery, Fariña confirmed that she was stepping down from her perch as chancellor—four years after Bill de Blasio had coaxed her out of retirement to . . . Read full article →

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New York’s Young Children are Thrown under the Bus

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On September 11th, the education committee of the New York Board of Regents approved the “Next Generation” standards for English Language Arts and mathematics.

Our youngest children have been thrown under the bus.

We are violating everything that is known, which is considerable, about how children develop and learn best. We are stealing their childhood, robbing them of play, the primary engine of human development.

We have empirical evidence that kindergarten has become the new first grade, and preschool the new kindergarten. Across the country, and in New York, we have relegated play to an hour a day . . . Read full article →

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Elusive Equity: Reeshemah Brightley’s Hard Questions for Bill de Blasio

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We talk ad nauseam about quality and equity in early care and education. How do we get there? The answers elude us, in spite of our good intentions, leaving young children in a precarious state. The list of our sins is long—and dispiriting. Childrearing has now achieved the status of luxury item in the United States. Education is seen as expenditure not investment. We tolerate child-poverty rates that put us to shame on the world’s social-justice index. The hard, essential work of caregiving and nurturing appear nowhere on the ledger sheets for our GDP.

For Reeshemah Brightley, who . . . Read full article →

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Time and Space: Teresa Snyder on the Missing Elements in New York’s Early Learning Standards

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Last May, New York’s top education policymakers released the “Next Generation Learning Standards.” The insertion of the descriptor did nothing to assuage the concerns of critics of the Common Core, among them a growing number of early childhood educators. The state’s history of implementation and top-down revisions of the English Language Arts and mathematics standards has been marked by great agita and one of the nation’s most robust opt-out movements.

At the heart of the matter is the standardization of childhood, a time of critical growth and development. If we capitalize on this dynamic period, the argument goes, . . . Read full article →

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