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Universal Preschool News

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In this section, you'll find editorials, legislation, public policy and trends on issues relating to preschool, pre-kindergarten, childcare and the push toward universal preschool education. Particularly of note are articles concerning the states claim of a compelling interest in compulsory preschool education. Visit often for the latest preschool news.

Police: Janitor left gun in preschool classroom Police say a school janitor in Connecticut has been arrested after leaving his loaded handgun in a preschool classroom. Police say 25-year-old Cody Willette of Woodbury was charged with reckless endangerment and failing to properly store a firearm after the incident Monday at Bucks Hill Elementary School. December 7, 2011 [More Results from CNS News]
Judge: Facebook post should cost job of NJ teacher A New Jersey administrative law judge has ruled that a first-grade teacher who wrote that she was a "warden for future criminals" on Facebook earlier this year should lose her tenured job. The state education commissioner now has 45 days to accept, reject or modify the decision regarding Jennifer O'Brien. The Paterson teacher posted her remark to 333 friends on March 28. But it was forwarded and several parents saw it. November 8, 2011 [More Results from CNS News]
Arizona Professor Banned from McDonald's, Found Disease-Causing Bacteria [VIDEO] A university professor in Arizona has been banned from eight McDonald's restaurants in her area, after she found dangerous bacteria in the children's play area. Erin Carr Jordan received a hand-delivered letter from an attorney stating that she was no longer allowed to set foot in the specified McDonald's restaurants near Phoenix. The letter also threatened her with criminal trespassing charges if she did. Carr Jordan believes she received this notice because of an incident at a McDonald's in Gilbert, AZ in which she pointed out to the manager that she found an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, called MRSA, in its PlayPlace and then warned parents at the restaurant to clean and sanitize their children's hands. by Kathy Landin October 31, 2011 [More Results from newsradio1310.com]
Editorial: Now not the time to cut preschool funds Decades after 1,000 poor Chicago kids attended an intensive, high-quality early childhood education program in the early 1980s, their lives are far better than similar kids who did not, a new study shows. This research is particularly timely as Illinois politicians tussle over a final state budget. Early childhood education, which generally gets high marks for quality, is slated for a 5 percent cut. That will translate into a loss of roughly 4,300 seats. June 11, 2011 [More Results from suntimes.com]
Jennifer Garner: Obama's $500 Million 'Not Enough' for Federally Funded Toddler Education Hollywood actress Jennifer Garner applauded President Barack Obama for already committing $500 million to federally funded education programs for "toddlers" but argued that it is "not enough." "Last week, President Obama, such great news, he delivered on 500 million dollars for innovative early learning programs. I was proud to fight for this funding with Save the Children alongside our allies like the First Five Fund," she said in a press conference at the Capitol. by Nicholas Ballasy June 9, 2011 [More Results from CNS News]
In Texas schools, a picture's worth 1,000 calories A $2 million project being unveiled Wednesday in the lunchroom of a Texas elementary school will use high-tech cameras to photograph what foods children pile onto their trays - and later capture what they don't finish eating. Digital imaging analysis of the snapshots will then calculate how many calories each student scarfed down. Local health officials said the program, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, is the first of its kind in a U.S. school, and will be so precise that the technology can identify a half-eaten pear left on a lunch tray. by Paul J. Weber May 12, 2011 [More Results from CNS News]
New L.A. study affirms benefits of preschool Children enrolled in Los Angeles Universal Preschool programs made significant improvements in the social and emotional skills needed to do well in kindergarten, according to a study released Monday. The study, commissioned by the organization and conducted by the San-Jose-based Applied Survey Research, measured the readiness skills of 437 children at 24 preschools in the fall of 2008 and reassessed 364 of those children in sping 2009. by Carla Rivera April 19, 2010 [More Results from Los Angeles Times]
Study: kindergarten does not help Enrolling students in kindergarten and other early education programs may have little effect on their future success, according to a new study by economics professor Elizabeth Cascio. The study analyzed the relative success of students born between 1954 and 1978 in 24 states that began funding universal kindergarten programs after 1960. The sample included students who attended elementary school before and after the implementation of kindergarten programs, according to the study. by Stephen Kirkpatrick March 8, 2010 [More Results from The Dartmouth]
Nation's top rated pre-k program comes to Alabama Governor Bob Riley announced Tuesday that 27 classrooms have been selected to become First Class Pre-K sites. The total number of children being served by the pre-kindergarten program increases to 3,808. Fifteen of the 27 classrooms are receiving Pre-K Excellence Grants in the amount of $45,000 each. These grants enable classrooms to meet Alabama's high quality pre-K standards, which are rated the best by the National Institute for Early Education Research. The remaining 12 classrooms are receiving Pre-K State Supported Slots of at least $45,000, with additional funding based on the number of low-income and middle-income children served. by Mark Wilder July 8, 2009 [More Results from WSFA 12 News]
Sugary Drinks Fattening Up Preschoolers Sweet drinks at snack time and before bed are widening preschoolers' waistlines, a new study shows. Canadian researchers found that 2- to 4-year-olds who regularly drank sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks and fruit drinks between meals were more than twice as likely to be overweight at age 4 1/2, compared to kids who didn't drink these beverages. by Juhie Bhatia June 25, 2009 [More Results from ABC News]
Why nursery schools are bad for little boys It is one of life's little ironies that, just as neuroscience has confirmed the huge importance of attachment in early learning, the people who once selflessly took on the role of faithful assistants to each generation are no longer available to do the jo There has so far been little research into the emotional effects of institutionalised early care, but what there is gives cause for concern. Government researchers have noticed a "small but significant difference in a large group of children" for whom daycare led to "withdrawn, compliant or sad" behaviour or to higher levels of aggression. by Sue Palmer May 19, 2009 [More Results from Times Online]
Don't Rush to Get Onboard With Universal Preschool President Obama has pledged to spend $10 billion more a year on "zero to five" education, and his 2010 budget makes a $2 billion "down payment" on that commitment. (Billions more are already in the "stimulus" package.) Preschool is educationally effective. On the contrary, while a few tiny, costly programs targeting very poor children have shown some lasting positive effects, the overwhelming majority of studies show that most pre-K programs have little to no educational impact... by Chester E. Finn Jr. May 15, 2009 [More Results from The Washington Post]
Questions for Candidates As November elections approach, homeschoolers should try to find out the positions of the candidates on the issues of most importance to parents. NHELD has compiled a short list of suggested questions. What is your position on compulsory public pre-school (universal pre-school) for infants and toddlers? October 9, 2008 [More Results from Home Educator's Family Times]
Slate of four challengers battle four incumbents over preschool plan School board races are not often one-issue fights. Typically, candidates tend to quarrel over a combination of issues, including educational ideologies, funding priorities and labor relations. But the battle for four of five seats on the Soquel Union Elementary School District board -- one that could completely reshape the panel -- will turn, for the most part, on a single, long-smoldering controversy: Whether to build a preschool at Jade Street Park. by J.M. Brown October 9, 2008 [More Results from San Jose Mercury News]
Wall Street Bailout: What Else Can $700 Billion Buy? A while back the New York Times was concerned about the cost of the Iraq War and published some estimates of what else we could have bought with that money. We didn't find that very interesting at the time, but now, while trying to wrap our minds around just how effing huge the $700 billion proposed bailout of Wall Street really is. For $35 Billion you can get universal preschool. Half-days for 3-year-olds and full days for 4-year-olds. September 24, 2008 [More Results from The Consumerist]
Yuma Pre-School Closes Amid Controversy The closure of Whiz Kidz Pre-School on 24th Street happened both suddenly and swiftly yesterday as it faced mounting pressure from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Investigators issued three citations to the school due to lack of proper oversight. According to the ADHS website, the facility failed to address overcrowding issues inside classrooms, did not give children access to water and the teachers were not professionally dressed. September 18, 2008 [More Results from KYMA Channel 11 News]
Who should prepare kids for kindergarten? Georgia already offers universal pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds and there has been talk about expanding the program to 3-year-olds. Some argue the state shouldn't teach more children until it can provide quality education to its k-12 students. They question why the state should get involved when part of the problem comes from poor parenting. by Laura Diamond March 31, 2008 [More Results from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills On October 3, 1955, the Mickey Mouse Club debuted on television. As we all now know, the show quickly became a cultural icon, one of those phenomena that helped define an era. What is less remembered but equally, if not more, important, is that another transformative cultural event happened that day: The Mattel toy company began advertising a gun called the "Thunder Burp." by Alix Spiegel February 24, 2008 [More Results from The Angry Gnome]
New Study Identifies Three Ways To Lower Pre-K Expulsion Rates The new study identifies ways policymakers can reduce expulsion rates. It is based on data from the National Prekindergarten Survey of 4,800 classrooms in the 40 states that fund prekindergarten. January 10, 2008 [More Results from The Pew Charitable Trusts]
Kaine Trims Pre-K Proposal RICHMOND -- Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Thursday scrapped his campaign promise to provide universal access to pre-kindergarten. Announcing that he will instead push to more than double the number of underprivileged 4-year-olds eligible for early education at the state's expense. In his 2005 bid for governor, Kaine promised to pay for preschool without regard to a parent's income. by Tim Craig August 17, 2007 [More Results from The Washington Post (VA)]
As States Tackle Poverty, Preschool Gets High Marks It took a well-orchestrated campaign to put pre-K on the top of political agendas -- and new tactics that didn't rely on do-gooder rhetoric. "The current full-scale Head Start program is having a disappointing impact on kids," says Douglas Besharov of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. "Pre-K is an important part of the tool chest for reducing the achievement gap...but will the return on investment be as great as people say? I don't think so." by Debirah Solomon August 9, 2007 [More Results from The Wall Street Journal]
The Evidence Shows 'Success' Fades WASHINGTON -- The senator who wrote "It Takes a Village" apparently believes it takes the federal government to decide how American families prepare their 4-year-olds for kindergarten. Evaluations of early education interventions have shown that while participating students may yield gains in the short-run, these benefits typically disappear over time. Other academic studies, such as a 2005 study published by Stanford and University of California researchers, have reported that students who attend preschool may be more likely to exhibit negative social behaviors. June 24, 2007 [More Results from The Free Lance-Star (VA)]
When Should a Kid Start Kindergarten? According to the apple-or-coin test, used in the Middle Ages, children should start school when they are mature enough for the delayed gratification and abstract reasoning involved in choosing money over fruit. In 15th- and 16th-century Germany, parents were told to send their children to school when the children started to act "rational." And in contemporary America, children are deemed eligible to enter kindergarten according to an arbitrary date on the calendar known as the birthday cutoff... by Elizabeth Weil June 3, 2007 [More Results from The New York Times]
Plug of war Conversations on the ins and outs of pacifiers can get contentious The pacifier. Despite its name, the small plastic plug seems to rile up controversy rather than calm it. Aside from breast-feeding and circumcision, few other topics can get parents, grandparents, pediatricians and child experts so stirred up that a timeout may be in order. by Jennifer Davies May 19, 2007 [More Results from The Union Tribune (CA)]
Lawmakers quietly considering universal preschool After California's voters last June defeated a $2.3 billion universal preschool initiative, Proposition 82, the issue of early education seemed dead. But reports of its demise have proved premature. The debate over how much to spend on pre-K and for which kids is now in the hands of the state politicians, and the issue will resurface this week when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger releases his revised 2008 budget. by David L. Kirp May 7, 2007 [More Results from San Jose Mercury News (CA)]