Jim Lesko on “Why a Birth–3rd Approach?”

In Washington, DC for a meeting with Preschool Development Grant and Early Learning Challenge grantees. Jim Lesko of AEM discusses the rationale for Birth–3rd approaches:

  • Eliminates artificial distinction between early childhood and early elementary education.
  • Supports continuity, coherence, and support for children
  • Promotes intentional and collaborative professional development
  • Promotes cross-pollination of knowledge about development leading to sustaining efforts to support children’s learning gains

He adds that a coherent and aligned Birth–3rd system:

  • Focuses on the whole child
  • Provides seamless transition across components
  • Includes aligned and comprehensive standards and curriculum
  • Uses comparable instructional practices
  • Enables communication and data-sharing across the entire assessment
  • Establishes durable and long-lasting family, community, and school partnerships
  • Supports PreK–3rd teachers participating in joint professional development opportunities
  • Reduces the achievement gap among children in families at risk

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