Drew Beeman on the Zen of Loose Parts

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While play advocates have touted the virtues of loose parts for decades, they are having a renaissance—finding their way into a comic strip by Dave Blazek, an illustrator, animator, and reformed standup comedian. “Because change comes from within, change comes from within, my children,” a sage proclaims in a speech bubble. In an age when unfettered activity is anathema, there’s something subversive—for many, terrifying—about leaving children to unstructured activities, away from the eyes of adults.

Drew Beeman, a self-described early childhood educator and specialist, has more than a decade of experience in child care . . . Read full article →

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Racial Bias at an Early Age

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In 2014, Kalyb Wiley Primm, a seven-year-old Black boy with a hearing impediment in Kansas City, broke down in tears after he was bullied by a fellow student. Upon hearing the little boy’s cries, his school’s resource officer, Brandon Craddock, embarked on an intervention. Frustrated by Kalyb’s persistent yells of distress, his efforts to calm him foiled, the officer attempted to remove the second-grader from the classroom for a visit to the office of the principal, Ann Wallace.

What happened next is the subject of a lawsuit recently filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against . . . Read full article →

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First-Grade Teacher Demands Moratorium on NY's P-2 ELA Standards

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Education policymakers in New York have continued to reckon with the fallout from implementation of the Common Core standards, which have ignited fierce opposition among parents, teachers, and administrators. In 2015, the state led the nation in test refusal. Twenty percent, or more than 200,000, third- through eighth-graders, sat out the annual standardized assessments—a number that increased this year.

Peter Rawitsch is certified in early childhood and has taught for 40 years. A first-grade teacher, from Delmar, New York, he was selected by the New York State Education Department to review the Prekindergarten through . . . Read full article →

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Elusive Worthy Wages in de Blasio’s Tale of Two Cities

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“Millions of workers have gotten a raise!” the Economic Policy Institute exulted in an email on Sunday. Income growth in 2015 merited the adjective “superb,” with the fastest gains among black and Hispanic workers.

Yet the early childhood workforce was nowhere to be found. The stewards of our human capital have long suffered from economic insecurity, the euphemism we like to employ for those living in poverty, or nearly on the edge. Out of more than 800 occupations annually surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only a few report lower median hourly wages . . . Read full article →

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