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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.

Study: Diet May Help ADHD Kids More Than Drugs Audio Report: Kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be restless, impulsive, inattentive and difficult to handle. Many are treated with drugs, but a new study suggests that food may be the key. Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands, writes in The Lancet that the disorder is triggered in many cases by external factors - and those can be treated through changes to one's environment. "ADHD, it's just a couple of symptoms - it's not a disease," the Dutch researcher tells All Things Considered weekend host Guy Raz. by NPR Staff March 15, 2011 [More Results from npr.org]
U.S. education secretary criticizes N.J. GOP plan to cut preschool budget in urban areas The plan, submitted to Gov. Chris Christie's office by the Senate Republican caucus, calls for funding only half-day preschools in urban districts and diverting the $300 million saved from the cuts to suburban schools. Under the proposal, districts would also qualify for more state funding if they bus students greater distances or have large populations of senior citizens. There would also be a $30 million grant program to promote accountability in urban schools and $50 million for schools that demonstrate the most efficiency. by Megan DeMarco February 24, 2011 [More Results from nj.com]
2-year-olds prepare for school with new program in Palm Beach County Like many 2-year-olds, when Silvia Matute is home, she enjoys watching television. Starting Tuesday, Silvia, along with 11 other students, will begin attending school at Highland Elementary in Lake Worth. As part of its child development program with the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County, Highland is offering a class for 2-year-olds, marking the first time the county's school district has served that age group in a public school. by Kevin D. Thompson February 10, 2011 [More Results from wptv.com]
When teaching restrains discovery -- Not Exactly Rocket Science One camp believes that children learn mostly through teaching and direct instruction. The other says that children learn mostly by exploring and figuring things out for themselves. To them, formal instruction is too passive, and makes for children that receive knowledge without engaging with it. On the other hand, people who favour more direct teaching argue that children need more guidance. Leaving them to explore on their own, through so-called "discovery learning", is inefficient and ineffective. These are, of course, extreme positions and the debate is more subtle. Both approaches have their merits and good teachers face the challenge of finding a happy medium. January 18, 2011 [More Results from Discover Magazine]
Good news: Mass. school now may limit condoms to, um, fifth-graders and older A moral victory, my friends: From now on, if you want a condom from the school nurse in Provincetown, you'll need to be at least 10 years old. A day after the new policy caused a media firestorm, School Committee chairman Peter Grosso said that Provincetown would probably limit condoms to fifth-graders and older. His stance stemmed from a conversation he had with Superintendent Beth Singer, author of the rule set to take effect this fall. by Allah Pundit June 25, 2010 [More Results from Hot Air]
Pre-Crime? Try Pre-Diagnose and Pre-Drug: Psychiatrists target infants as mental patients A new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry claims to be able to detect brain abnormalities associated with schizophrenia risk in infants just a few weeks old. We would like to point out the obvious flaw in this bogus study; there is no medical/scientific test in existence that schizophrenia is a physical disease or brain abnormality to start with. There is not one chemical imbalance test, X-ray, MRI or any other test for schizophrenia, not one. So with no evidence of medical abnormality to start with, the "associated with schizophrenia risk" amounts to what George Orwell called Doublespeak (language that deliberately disguises, distorts, misleads) -- it means nothing. by Loren Mosher June 23, 2010 [More Results from CCHR International]
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]
What Happened When Kindergarten Went Universal? More than four decades after the first model preschool interventions, there is an emerging consensus that high-quality early-childhood education can improve a child's economic and social outcomes over the long term. Publicly funded kindergarten is available to virtually all children in the U.S. at age five, but access to preschool opportunities for children four years old and younger remains uneven across regions and socioeconomic groups. Parents with financial means have the option of enrolling their child in a private program at their own expense. by Elizabeth U. Cascio March 8, 2010 [More Results from Education Next]
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]
Let's make preschools girls-only? Going to preschool nearly doubled a girl's chances of getting a high school degree, but had no effect on boys. If State Preschool helps girls but not boys, it would be more cost-efficient to limit it to girls. Fat chance getting that through the legislature. January 5, 2010 [More Results from California's Children]
TV Inhibits Reading With the expansion of cable networks, Internet and video games, our kids/teens are spending more time in front of "screens." Whether it is a television - computer - or cell phone - kids are spending more time "watching" rather than reading. A University of Washington study finds that the more TV that a baby watches, the smaller their vocabulary. In fact, for every hour of TV, a child learns six to eight fewer words compared to babies who never watch TV at all. Experts say instead of passive activities, children of all ages are better served by being active - playing, learning an instrument, spending time with family, and of course reading. by Sue Scheff November 28, 2009 [More Results from Parents Universal Resource Experts]
Preschool or Not? (Conscious Friday) Preschool is socially unnatural. By taking young children away from their source of power - mother - and putting them together in a group of similar ages (unable to help each other), we render them helpless. In this impossible and unnatural setting, they fail to socialize on their own and depend on adult control to be able to function and stay safe. Such experience teaches the child to see herself as socially failing and dependent on authority. August 21, 2009 [More Results from Sunny Day Today Mama]
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]
Differences Between Obama's Education Speech And His Adminstration's Actions The president endorsed the expansion of innovative charter schools, performance pay for teachers, and the elimination of ineffective teachers. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any real legislative action planned on any of those items. Charter schools received almost no funding from the stimulus package and there was no requirement for states to remove destructive charter school caps in exchange for billions. Similarly, while he plans to fund a few teacher incentive pilot programs, President Obama missed the opportunity to tie the billions in new federal education dollars to outcomes that could result in serious personnel reform. by Lisa Snell March 18, 2009 [More Results from Reason Foundation]
Greater freedom of choice in childcare and universal preschool for three-year-olds in Sweden The Government proposes a childcare voucher system - a municipal allowance that will follow children regardless of which provider their parents choose - in Government Bill Childcare voucher system and universal preschool extended to three-year-olds. The Government approved the bill yesterday. According to the proposal, municipalities will be obliged to approve privately run preschools, out-of-school centres and alternative forms of educational care... by Government of Sweden February 7, 2009 [More Results from eGov Monitor]
Federal Spending on Education to Double, and Do Little Good Part of the "stimulus" (read: earmark-ridden, pork-barrel) package making its way through Washington D.C. these days involves federal aid to education. Lisa Snell, of the Reason Foundation, takes a look at the money and finds little good. The stimulus package will spend more than double the current total federal education budget, bringing federal funding of education to well over $200 billion. 70 percent of 4-year-olds are already enrolled in preschool... January 30, 2009 [More Results from Kansas Education]
Ayala Tapped by Governor to Improve California's Early Education Education executive and preschool advocate Celia Ayala has been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee. Ayala, 54, chief operating officer of Los Angeles Universal Preschool, has worked for more than 30 years as a teacher, administrator and advocate for the children of Southern California. She has sought to expand educational opportunities for children during early stages of life. by Patricia Marroquin January 23, 2009 [More Results from Hispanic Business]
Universal preschool hasn't delivered results Early education advocates want you to believe that the case for universal preschool is so airtight that raising any questions about it is an act of heresy. But there is a strong and growing body of literature showing that preschool produces virtually no lasting benefits for the majority of kids. The Reason Foundation condensed most of the research and opinions that point to the disadvantages of warehousing preschoolers into one succinct article. It's a great piece to forward or print out and pass along. by Shikha Dalmia and Lisa Snell October 17, 2008 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle]
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]