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Examining the push to get kids starting school strong.
October 1, 2010
Ask an Expert: At what age should my son attend preschool?
EdNews Parent experts Ann Morrison, Karla Scornavacco and Robert "Kim" Herrell take on an important question from Amy of Boulder about when her 2-year-old son should start preschool to make sure he's prepared for kindergarten.
December 10, 2009
LES schools land exemption from city-wide kindergarten rules
Lower East Side parents who want to ensure their pre-k students stay in the same school for kindergarten will now be able to do so, though a citywide policy bans schools from giving admissions preference to their own pre-k students. Parents in Manhattan's District 1 have been lobbying for the exemption for more than a year. The district's parent council, elected officials and the Department of Education have hammered out a nearly-final deal, presented to parents at a public meeting last night. Last school year the DOE began barring schools from giving admissions preference to students already enrolled in their own pre-k programs. Lisa Donlan, the president of the parent's council, said that the policy ran counter to the district's historical commitment to having full-day pre-k programs that are considered fully integrated into the school's culture, whereas many districts have half-day pre-k programs that are almost considered separate from the school itself.
December 17, 2008
Statewide ed programs also being cut, but the news isn't all bad
Gov. Paterson's cost-cutting proposal yesterday didn't just ask local school districts to reduce their budgets. It also took a knife to education programs that are funded by the state. The Buffalo News today reported on some of those statewide cuts: • Requiring districts to pay 15 percent of the cost of preschool special-education services. Those costs are now covered by the state and counties. • Delaying for at least two years planned increases in prekindergarten funding. • Eliminating $40 million for teacher development centers. • Scrapping a $10 million Teacher Mentor Intern Program, which allows veteran teachers to assist less-experienced colleagues. • Eliminating a $10 million fund that provided math and science programs of which students can avail themselves at colleges and universities. An important note about that second bullet point: Even though Gov. Paterson isn't increasing state pre-K funding, New York City could still see an increase in the number of children enrolled in universal pre-K programs.
December 17, 2008
Pre-K expert on New York program: It's a model of how not-to
Sara Mead, who directs a center on early childhood policy at the New America Foundation, just e-mailed me a response to my post…
December 17, 2008
Looking back on the start of Head Start
Today's New York Times reported that Obama could oversee "the largest new federal initiative for young children since Head Start began in 1965" if he makes good on his pledge of $10 billion for early childhood education, leaving proponents of such programs "atremble" in anticipation of his administration's support. More than 20,000 youngsters participated in the first Head Start programs in New York City in the summer of 1965, the Times reported that year. The full article is after the jump.
December 17, 2008
How far from complete are the city's efforts to expand pre-K?
Talking about Barack Obama's hopes for expanding early childhood education (school for 3- and 4-year-olds) Sam Dillon reports in the Times this morning that, despite efforts to make pre-kindergarten available, New York State's efforts are "far from complete." How far? Pretty far. There are two areas to pay attention to: access (how many 4-year-olds are actually enrolled in programs) and quality (are the programs doing real teaching or simply baby-sitting?). Let's start with access. New York City advocates told me last year that they estimate demand for pre-kindergarten in the city at about 75,000 4-year-olds. Yet the number of 4-year-olds who are taking part so far this year is 54,000. That represents a steady increase from years past, the Department of Education's director of early childhood education, Recy B. Dunn, just told me in a telephone interview. But it's still far away from universal — and it's also below the number of seats the state agreed to pay for this year, 60,000, a package that would cost just over $230 million, Dunn said. The picture statewide is arguably bleaker. Winnie Hu of the Times reported last year that only 38% of 4-year-olds in the state participated in programs.
July 31, 2008
Here's the DOE's proposed Contracts for Excellence plan…
Coming soon… notes from Wednesday’s public hearing in Manhattan. New York City’s Proposed Citywide Contracts for Excellence plan provides: 63% or $242 million in discretionary…
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