Lancaster County’s Purple Agenda

Woohoo, Lancaster County, PA! What Friedman doesn’t say is that Lancaster County is gearing up for a comprehensive P-3 initiative. More to come about the Lancaster County  approach to comprehensive P-3 in the coming months. For the connection between the kind of bi-partisan, place-based collective impact initiative Friedman describes and early childhood/P-3, see A Purple Agenda for (Early) Education.

Survey Finds Majority of K-3 Teachers Feel Unity With Preschool Educators

Marva Hinton of Education Week writes:

“Sometimes there seems to be a disconnect between educators who work with children prior to elementary school and those who teach in the early grades, but new survey results find a strong connection between the two groups.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children, or NAEYC, recently released results from a survey of more than 530 current or recent K-3 teachers. The group also conducted online, in-depth qualitative interviews with 14 K-3 teachers.

On average, two-thirds of the teachers who were surveyed viewed themselves as “early-childhood educators.” The numbers were highest among kindergarten teachers with 93 percent agreeing with that statement, while it dropped to 52 percent among 3rd grade teachers …

The survey also found that 76 percent of K-3 teachers supported the creation of a unified and aligned system of early-childhood education from birth to age 8

Those surveyed indicated that a unified and aligned system has several potentially important outcomes such as more developmentally appropriate standards for students (92 percent) and higher wages for teachers (88 percent).”

Pre-K isn’t an inoculation: What comes next matters

Important new research out of the University of Virginia. Provides additional support for P-3 approaches. The New America Foundation has a nice summary blog post. A few excerpts:

“In a new study out of the University of Virginia, The role of elementary school quality in the persistence of preschool effects, the authors find that the quality of the elementary school students matriculate into matters for whether pre-K gains persist. Which makes sense, right? It is unrealistic to expect the benefits gained in any one year of schooling to be maintained in a low-quality setting. In fact, the authors suggest that to believe so would be ‘to believe in magic.'”

This study is a welcome reminder that as it states, ‘preschool programs do prepare children academically for kindergarten, validating contemporary policy initiatives that focus on investing early,’  but that ‘we must pay careful attention to what is realistic to expect from one year of preschool education and the conditions under which its benefits persist or diminish.'”

When we talked to Rolf Grafwallner, program director for Early Childhood Initiatives at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), he explained that ‘you have to look at this period [PreK-3rd] as a block. You can’t piecemeal it.'”

The National P-3 Center’s New Framework in Action Series

The National P-3 Center is launching a new publication series, Framework in Action. Each brief in this helpful new series includes a short digest of the research, suggested starting points, common implementation pitfalls, indicators of progress, and examples of promising efforts and success stories.

The Center’s Director, Kristie Kauerz, provides the following introduction:

“The first in the series – Framework in Action: Administrator Effectiveness – addresses the important roles and responsibilities of elementary principals, Early Care and Education directors/managers (from PreK, Head Start, and child care), and other district-level or program-level administrators. Much attention, both positive and negative, has been paid to administrators’ effectiveness in supporting young children’s learning and in building alignment between the traditionally disparate systems of birth-to-five and K-12.

The Framework in Action series expands on the Framework for Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating P-3 Approaches (Kauerz & Coffman, 2013) and provides brief research reviews, practical strategies, and guidance for creating meaningful and tangible change in communities. Each Framework in Action corresponds with one of the eight buckets of alignment effort identified as essential to high-quality and comprehensive P-3 approaches.

Framework in Action that corresponds with each of the remaining seven buckets will be released throughout the remainder of the year.”

Reading Aloud to Young Children Has Benefits for Behavior and Attention

“It’s a truism in child development that the very young learn through relationships and back-and-forth interactions, including the interactions that occur when parents read to their children. A new study provides evidence of just how sustained an impact reading and playing with young children can have, shaping their social and emotional development in ways that go far beyond helping them learn language and early literacy skills. The parent-child-book moment even has the potential to help curb problem behaviors like aggression, hyperactivity and difficulty with attention, a new study has found.

‘We think of reading in lots of different ways, but I don’t know that we think of reading this way,’ said Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, an associate professor of pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine, who is the principal investigator of the study, ‘Reading Aloud, Play and Social-Emotional Development,’ published in the journal Pediatrics.”