Former Lawmakers Set Aside Policy Differences for Early-Childhood Initiative

Another example of the potential for bi-partisan support of early childhood programs (in line with A Purple Agenda for (Early) Education).

From Education Week’s Early Years blog:

“Proving that leaving Congress sometimes makes it easier to find bipartisan accord, former Democratic Rep. George Miller, of California, and former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, of Pennsylvania, have come together to back a dozen child-related policies they say can be supported on both sides of the aisle.

Among the policy recommendations:

  • Increase the value of, and access to, the federal Child Care Tax Credit.
  • Reauthorize the federally-funded home-visiting program. (Funding for that program expired at the end of September.)
  • Create a competitive-grant program to encourage states to design state-level tax programs that increase access to high-quality early-childhood programs.
  • Encourage states to establish minimum levels of training and competencies for their child-care workforce and to improve professional development systems for the child-care workforce in ways that have been shown to impact child outcomes.

The full report offers more recommendations and rationales on why these particular recommendations should be adopted quickly.”

Comprehensive Services Can Help Close Education Achievement Gaps

The Latest from Child Trends:

“A new Child Trends report finds growing evidence for the effectiveness of a rapidly expanding approach to educational achievement. Integrated student supports (ISS) promote students’ academic success by connecting them with nonacademic resources that support the whole child, including secure housing, medical care, tutoring, food assistance, and other supports.

The report comes as states and school districts begin to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which explicitly encourages the use of ISS models. It finds that students’ participation in effective ISS interventions can have long-term benefits and provides an overview of effective models for policymakers, funders, and practitioners to examine as they try to build high-quality programs.”

New Analysis Finds Long-Lasting Benefits to Early-Childhood Education (Ed Week)

“High-quality early-childhood programs boost graduation rates, reduce grade retention and cut down on special education placements, according to a new analysis of several other early-education research studies that adds fresh fuel to long-running policy debates about the effectiveness of pre-K.

‘These results suggest that the benefits of early-childhood education programs do in fact persist beyond the preschool year,’ said Dana Charles McCoy, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, in an email interview. McCoy was the lead author on the analysis, which was published Thursday in the journal Educational Researcher.

‘Given how costly retention, special education, and dropout can be for both individuals and societies, our results suggest that investments in high-quality early-childhood education programming are likely to pay off in the long term,’ McCoy said.

See the full article in Education Week. And see Dana Charles McCoy’s presentation on social-emotional learning here (upper right corner).