High-Quality Early Learning According to Yvonne Smith

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No fewer than 8,9600,000 results for “high-quality early learning” appeared in .57 seconds, the time required by Google’s query processor to find the relevant web pages from the company’s database. How comforting to think one might get a handle on this phenomenon.

“What does high-quality early childhood education look like?” was the seventh entry on the first page when I last looked, the headline of an article by Mary Ellen Flannery, who tracks news and trends at the National Education Association. Julie Bullard, of the University of Montana-Western was her main source. She “knows it when she . . . Read full article →

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Renee Dinnerstein’s Revolution Grows in Brooklyn

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Last September, before school began, I made my way to the Brooklyn Historical Society for the launch of Renée Dinnerstein’s new book, Choice Time. At a time of standardized tests for five-year-olds, canned curriculum, didactic instruction, and the Common Core—in a city of deep inequality and segregation—this event was long overdue.

More than 200 teachers poured into the landmark Romanesque Revival building, now a center of urban history, civic dialogue, and community outreach. Many were left standing around the edges of the room, the air tense with expectancy. After a day of setting up their classrooms, they . . . Read full article →

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Doing the Right Thing with The New Early Childhood Professional

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Early childhood professionals have long been a beleaguered species. For starters, they’ve had to battle the perception that they’re “just babysitting,” providing “day care.” Never mind the field’s heroic history, chronicled in Exchange magazine a few years ago by Roger Neugebauer and Debra Hartzell.

Heading the list was the Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers, based in Atlanta and founded in 1888 by a group of women from the First United Methodist Church. They’d begun caring for children in an abandoned boxcar, after finding a little one tied to a bedpost for “safe . . . Read full article →

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Stacey Poncia Won't Be A Martyr for the Children's Crusade

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When I first set eyes upon David Kirp’s foreword to my book, Squandering America’s Future, I almost cried. His title, “The Public Equivalent of Love,” went straight to the heart of the matter.

Kirp talks about the need to make smart investments, right from the start—a subject he knows well as the author of The Sandbox Investment and Kids First. “For now,” he writes “neither Washington nor the states will pick up the tab ” But his long-term vision is encouraging:

Sixty years ago, the federal government spent less on seniors than on any . . . Read full article →

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