New Article Collections Page

I’ve gathered together a number of articles and case studies on a new Feature Articles page. And see this week’s Marshall Memo, a weekly digest of education news for principals and other education leaders, for a summary of the Primary Years Agenda article.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Texting Parents to Help Language Skills

From a recent story in the New York Times:

A new study shows that mobile technology may offer a cheap and effective solution. The research, released by the National Bureau of Economic Research this month, found that preschoolers whose parents received text messages with brief tips on reading to their children or helping them sound out letters and words performed better on literacy tests than children whose parents did not receive such messages.

Five Practical Lessons about Birth–3rd Partnerships: Feedback Requested

A chief benefit of blogs is the interactive dialogue they can support. With the Birth–3rd Learning Hub, I have an opportunity to test ideas with people who are deeply involved in doing Birth–3rd work. A few weeks ago I posted a number of “lessons” based on the work thus far, giving examples of each to illustrate the central take-away. Here is a summary of these five take-aways:

  1. Community- and Relationship-Building are Necessary but not Sufficient
  2. Attending to the Imbalance of Power Requires Care
  3. Partnerships Need a “Backbone”
  4. Birth—3rd Improvement Requires District Early Childhood Capacity
  5. An Important Balance: Strategy with an Eye towards Capacity-Building

I’m very interested in learning about any experiences you have had that either support or challenge any of the points I make in this post. I invite you to share them via the comment section below. I’ll draw on your feedback in future posts. If you prefer to communicate with me directly, just put “private” in your comment, and I won’t make it public. Or email jacobsondl at gmail.com. Thanks for your help.

Does Your Design Process Look Like This?

Design thinking

Does your partnership sometimes “go wide” before focusing in on concrete strategies? For a helpful toolkit on designing new strategies, initiatives, and/or programs, see Design Thinking for Educators by the renowned design firm IDEO. Thanks for Bob Ettinger of Cambridge for sharing this resource. To see a creative application of this process to early education, check out the Kellogg Foundation’s provocative thought piece: Tangible Steps Towards Tomorrow: New Designs for Early Education, 0-8.

 

Ambitious Vision: Principal Leadership in PreK–3rd Learning Communities

The National Association of Elementary School Principals has published an ambitious vision of the principal’s role in PreK–3rd reform. This report, Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities: Competencies for Effective Principal Practice, outlines six competencies that together form a comprehensive approach to leading early learning partnerships. This approach will require district support in addition to principal leadership. The full report fleshes out the competencies in helpful detail and includes descriptions of exemplary practice, questions for reflections, self-assessments, and links to tools and other resources. More to follow in a future post.

The PDF version of the report is free until November 15.

Putting Seattle’s Pre-K Ballot Initiatives in Context

While most of the country’s obsessive politics-watchers will be surveying a variety of hotly contested Senate, House, and gubernatorial races on November 4, the early education community will have an eye trained on Seattle, Washington. Voters there will have not one, but two early education programs on the ballot.

See Connor Williams’ piece on New America EdCentral.