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).

“Want to Beat the Stock Market? Bet on Early-Childhood Education”

I’m posting this from Normal, IL. Over the next couple of days I’ll be visiting two of the CPC P-3 Centers that University of Minnesota professor Arthur Reynolds discusses below in an excerpt from a recent Education Week commentary. I look forward to sharing what I learn as part of an ongoing study of Place-Based Collaboration on Early Education funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

As Reynolds says,

“After five decades and more than 250,000 families served, the CPC program is arguably one of the nation’s most effective social programs. Now in its third generation as a P-3 school-reform model, the program and its unique success provide an approach and set of action steps to innovate in education to produce even better investment returns. Collaborative leadership, engaged learning, small classes, and comprehensive family and instructional supports are core elements.

In fact, CPC has one of the highest economic returns of any public or private financial investment. Cost-benefit analyses have shown that for every dollar invested, more than $10 is returned in cost savings in the areas of remedial education and criminal justice, coupled with an increase in economic well-being and tax revenues. That is an inflation-adjusted annual return of 18 percent over a child’s lifetime, a cumulative return of 900 percent. In the 2013 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama even cited the research into CPC’s return on investment as a major basis of his Preschool for All initiative.”

See the full article: https://go.edc.org/rndt

Addressing ACEs through P-3 Partnerships

This past summer I did a presentation at the National Academies of Medicine on how P-3 Partnerships can serve as ideal platforms for preventing and addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). This two-day workshop on the Neurocognitive and Psychosocial Impacts of Violence included presentations by researchers from the health, behavioral science, criminal justice, and education fields. You can find the workshop agenda and a number of the presentations at the meeting webpage.  The National Academies has also made audio of all the presentations available at the bottom of the page (the audio requires a large download of each day’s sessions).

For easy reference, you can find my slides here, and I’m posting the audio from my session below (I pick up the pace as I get rolling a few minutes in). You will see a small square of video in the top right corner. Unfortunately there is no way to make the video larger.

Senate Democrats have a plan that would cut child poverty nearly in half

“The US is one of the only developed countries in the world without a child allowance — a government program giving every family a set amount of money per child, no strings attached.

A new proposal by Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet (CO) and Sherrod Brown (OH) would change that. The American Family Act of 2017 would dramatically expand the child tax credit, which currently offers up to $1,000 a year for families with significant earnings but little or nothing for many poor people, to pay:

  • $3,000 per year, or $250 per month, per child ages 6 to 18
  • $3,600 per year, or $300 per month, per child ages 0 to 5

The benefits would be distributed monthly, in advance, so that families can pace out their spending and smooth their incomes. Because the CTC, like the earned income tax credit, is currently paid out through tax refunds, it sometimes leads to a perverse situation in which families use it to pay down debt they never would’ve had to incur if they’d gotten the money earlier.”

From Voxhttps://go.edc.org/2rwq

The ‘Problem Child’ Is a Child, Not a Problem (NYT)

“Matt’s behavior started to turn around in fifth grade, after his parents began using Collaborative Problem Solving (C.P.S.), a technique designed to build self-regulation skills. Many children are lagging in skills like impulse control, managing frustration and understanding social cues that are the foundation of self-control. Suspension does nothing to build those skills. Collaborative Problem Solving, in contrast, recognizes that behavior is not simply a function of motivation; it’s a function of skills and practice. C.P.S. replaces a traditional philosophy of “children do well when they want to” with one that ‘children do well when they can.'”

The Important Role of the Transition to Kindergarten for Low-Income Children

Drawing on his new report, Connecting the Steps: State Strategies to Ease the Transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten, New America’s Aaron Loewenberg writes in Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity: 

“Transition activities such as teacher home visits; parent orientation sessions; and collaborative meetings and trainings between principals, child care center administrators, and pre-K and kindergarten teachers are key strategies for closing the persistent achievement gap between low-income students and their wealthier peers.

In fact, a 2005 study established a link between the number of transition activities schools facilitated prior to and near the beginning of the kindergarten year and gains in academic achievement by the end of the year. These positive gains were greatest for children whose families were low- or middle-income.

separate study, which focused on pre-K programs, found a positive association between the number of transition activities undertaken by pre-K teachers and kindergarten teachers’ later perceptions of student skills, particularly those of low-income students. Unfortunately, while low-income children stand to benefit the most from a smooth transition to kindergarten, they are also the least likely to attend schools that provide meaningful transition activities.”

https://go.edc.org/c7sd

 

“What really stands out is our neglect of children.”

“When you compare the U.S. social welfare system with those of other wealthy countries, what really stands out now is our neglect of children. Other countries provide new parents with extensive paid leave, provide high-quality, subsidized day care for children with working parents and make pre-K available to everyone or almost everyone; we do none of these things. Our spending on families is a third of the advanced-country average, putting us down there with Mexico and Turkey.”

Paul Krugman, NYT: What’s Next for Progressives