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NYT Article: Teaching Is Not a Business

In a marketplace that fosters business models, competitiveness and disruptive innovation, David Kirp discusses the importance of cultivating relationships between teachers and their students. In this article, he mentions several successful educational initiatives that all share the same bottom line: they strengthen personal bonds by building strong systems of support in the school.  

In many cases, these “business models” run counter to Kirps ideal by fostering “merit pay,” undermining morale, closing schools, and focusing on the bottom line. Instead of investing in building these relationships, public schools are spending billions of dollars on technology amid lackluster results. Click HERE to read the full article

We are interested in hearing from you. What do you think it means to be a good teacher?


Making the Hours Count (New America Education)

In the latest policy brief by Education Policy Program at New America, policy analyst Alexander Holt explores the disparities in early childhood education. In his latest publication, Making the Hours Count, Holt suggests an efficient way to study the disparities is to examine the language surrounding the discussion of full time vs half-time schooling. In a brief history of schools, Holt shows how time structures within school systems are relatively unchanged since 1850s and thus are the foundation on which the very systems are built. Therefore, “ignoring time structures in discussions about curriculum is as flawed as if we were to ignore say, what type of math is appropriate to teach an eight year old.” In changing the current rhetoric of education, which is only looking at hours per day, the data should be based on hours per week, and ultimately per year. With the rhetoric centered on just how many hours per day the program lasts, the full scope of how much cumulative time in school a child is losing in the long term is lost.  Holt stresses the importance of the shift as it will give a better view to policy makers as to what is a good threshold of hours per week to give every child the best opportunity to learn and allow data collectors to study whether children are being offered a “low-quantity program” or a “low-quantity learning experience.” Currently this argument is centered on early childhood, before the shift can be made to think about public education in general.

What do you think about this arguement?index

To read more click HERE


A Mad Dash to enroll Preschoolers (The Wall Street Journal)


indexDue to the city aim to offer 33,000 full day Universal Pre-K seats by fall in New York City, early childhood centers are faced with an urgency to fill those seats. District pre-schools have been mostly filled since June, while the centers are still out enrolling new students. With months passed and millions of dollars spent on enrollment specialists and media, "Pre-K for All" is still not yet as common a concept  as one would hope. To read more, click HERE and help spread the word about Universal Pre-K by sharing this post to help fill seats.



The Preschool Nation Summit in NYC (DigitalJournal)

The country's first Preschool Nation Summit will be held August 5, gathering leaders inside and outside the field of early education. Hosted by Los Angeles Universal Preschool, the summit is just one part of a larger initiative to advocate for Universal Pre-K on a national platform. Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio will be the featured keynote speaker at the event.

There will be a live webcast at http://www.preschoolnation.org/summit on Tuesday, August 5, from 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. To register for the webcast, visit http://www.preschoolnation.org/preschool-nation-summit-2014-live-webcast/.

To read more click HERE.10516660_824315244248129_8705584688153298556_n

(Photo courtesy of Preschool Nation)

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Early Childhood and Human Capital (Washington Post)

jeffrey-lacker01 1200xx4200-2363-0-216Since the 2007-2009 recession, there have been historically high, long-term unemployment rates throughout the nation. Economists, policymakers, and businesspeople have since been pondering the question: how does the nation work to combat this unemployment? Jeffrey Lacker, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, presented the Federal Reserve’s plan of action in a speech at the Lynchburg College School of Business and Economics: invest in early childhood.

In early childhood, the "noncognitive skills such as following instructions, patience and work ethic — lay the foundation for mastering more complex cognitive skills and may be just as important a determinant of future labor market success.” Any lapses present in these skills affect adult outcomes and are apparent as early as age 5. This urges workforce development to be invested in early childhood education, because “the earlier workers invest, the longer they have to profit.”

The shift to early childhood education as the solution began with a shift to look at the labor market as a reflection of structural trends, causing researchers to think about preparing workers for the labor market at the individual level. For future generations of workers to have stability and a safety net, workforce development needs to begin as soon as formal schooling begins— treating the solution as a “long-term vaccine” that is generally not afforded to people who treat workforce development “as a cure for short-term shocks.” Ultimately, these investments are responsible for increasing human capital from early care and education to strengthen the nation’s businesses. What do you think about this move in efforts to lower unemployment rates?

To read more of Lacker's speech click HERE.


Universal Pre-K Expansion Program (CapitalNY)

With the city’s mayor de Blasio pushing for an additional $300 million for the five boroughs and $40 million for the rest of the state, the program for state-wide access to universal pre-K structure is changing. For the first time community-based organizations may apply for funds independent of their local school districts. This creates more access to schools especially for urban, low-income families, but there are worries that the budget does not allow enough funds for oversight of the program to ensure it is properly used. Click HERE to read the full article.
What are your thoughts?

CUNY’s New Accelrated Certification Program (Clarion)

Following the city’s move to expand early childhood education, there is a demand for 2,000 new pre-K teachers to be certified and prepared for the classroom by September 2015. In response, CUNY’s Early Childhood Professional Development Institute has moved to create a new accelerated program which prepares new teachers through one of two tracks throughout five CUNY campuses: Brooklyn College, Hunter, City College, Lehman, and Queens College. Track one is an accelerated 14-month master’s program, and track two, for those already pursuing certification, helps students get certified more quickly while providing additional support. As of this summer, 120 students are enrolled in the program through these five campuses.

To read more click HERE.prek23n-3-web

Newest Standardized Test for Kindergarten Elite Schools (NYMag)

In the growing age of standardized testing, NYC elite private kindergartens are forgoing the 45-year standard, the IQ tests, for the “Educational Records Bureau's brand-new Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners.” This new standardized test will be administered on an iPad, cost $65, and has starting tutoring rates ranging between $140 and $200 a session. One of the elite schools, Horace Mann, explained the switch as “ensur[ing] that every applicant for Kindergarten and First Grade at Horace Mann School has completed a standardized measure of reasoning and achievement that is psychometrically valid… [and the score report from this test] is the only piece of the application that is consistent and objective.” But can any part of the four-year old mind truly be measured in terms of reasoning? How do you feel about the move made by this school? Click HERE to read the full article.



Pediatrics Group to Recommend Reading Aloud to Children From Birth (NYTimes)

For the first time in its history, the American Academy of Pediatrics “has officially weighed in on early literacy education,” announcing its new policy that doctors will tell parents to read aloud to their infants from birth. These 62,000 pediatricians throughout the nation are going so far as to ask its members to “become powerful advocates for reading aloud, every time a baby visits the doctor.” This is all with hopes to “reduce academic disparities between wealthier and low-income children as well as between racial groups.” To read the full article click HERE.

What are your thoughts on the academy’s new policy for literacy?baby-and-mother-reading