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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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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To B.A., or not to B.A.: The Conversation Continues

How loaded can a question get? Last week’s post drew readers like moths to a flame, striking a deep chord in a community that, at least from my admittedly quick and unscientific survey, remains mighty conflicted about credentialing.

Wrote one colleague (“Ghost Mentor in the Sky,” as she calls herself ): “I, too, cannot believe it is still an issue to debate. ..A senior staff member in the Head Start Bureau once commented to me that money spent on ‘training’ of various kinds could have paid for B.A.s for most of the Head Start teachers. I’ve never been able to . . . Read full article →

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To B.A., or not to B.A: That is Not the Question

Yesterday, I opened an e-newsletter from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment and saw red. “Should you have a bachelor’s degree to work with young children?” screamed one of the headlines. “Why are we even asking this question at this late date?,” I emailed one of our field’s stalwart leaders. “This drives me mad!”

When I had cooled off, I followed the link, under the headline, to a more nuanced, if brief, conversation with Marcy Whitebook, Valora Washington, and Sarah Garland—interviewed by BAM!Radio’s Rae Pica—about the need to move beyond this reductive question to fully . . . Read full article →

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