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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.

Four-year-old Graduates Celebrate at Wunsche Eighteen four-year-old students in the Early Learning Academy (ELA) at Carl Wunsche Sr. High School donned caps and gowns recently and walked into their graduation ceremony with as much pomp as a group of four-year-olds can muster. "These four-year-olds will be very well-prepared to start kindergarten next year," said Kay Hall, ELA director. It is a licensed childcare facility and an on-site laboratory school where high school students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at Wunsche can observe and work with young children. May 30, 2008 [More Results from Spring ISD]
Parental Absence Stifles Kids' Learning Young children who experience separation from a parent are at increased risk for learning problems as they enter kindergarten, new research shows. While the emotional and behavioral impact of separation from a parent on young children is well recognized, the study is one of the first to examine the effect on learning as children begin school. Children in the study who had been separated from a parent scored significantly worse than children with intact families in testing designed to measure key early learning issues. by Salynn Boyles May 16, 2008 [More Results from WebMD]
Arroyo wants 5-year-olds included in pre-school program President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has directed the Department of Education to include five-year-old children in government-run day care centers run to strengthen and expand the DepEd's pre-school program starting June 2008. Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus noted that "while management of day care centers still remains with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the DepEd is ready to take on this overwhelming task." by Jerry E. Esplanada April 1, 2008 [More Results from Philippine Daily Inquirer]
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]
Tangle of Funds Perplexes Preschool Providers Funding for California preschool programs is dizzyingly complex, with money flowing from numerous state grants, each with their own restrictions, requirements and a mountain of paperwork. Preschool providers find it logistically difficult to weave different funds together, a recognized way to create income-integrated preschools like Poway Unified's, which delivers services to kids across the economic spectrum. by Emily Alpert March 28, 2008 [More Results from Voice of San Diego (CA)]
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]
Edwards' education plan leaves out full-day kindergarten Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards wants universal preschool for the nation's 4-year-olds,... ...but the education plan he debuted last week does not address full-day kindergarten, the issue that has dominated education debate in Nevada. by Anjeanette Damon September 25, 2007 [More Results from Reno Gazette-Journal]
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)]
Let children be children | Is your 5-year-old stressed out because so much is expected? We've just finished test time again in the schools of California. The mad frenzy of testing infects everyone from second grade through high school. For 30 years as a teacher of primary kids, I have operated on the Any Fool Can See principle. And any fool can see that the spread between what is developmentally appropriate for 7- and 8-year-old children and what is demanded of them on these tests is widening. A lot of what used to be in the first-grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten. Is your 5-year-old stressed out? Perhaps this is why. by Penelope H. Bevan June 13, 2007 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle (CA)]
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]
The pretense of preschool proposals Last week, U.S. Sen. and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton unveiled a new proposal to fund state pre-kindergarten programs for all 4-year-old children in America. However, pre-kindergarten programs have been around for many years, and such grandiose claims have been refuted by several studies on the effectiveness of such programs. The truth is government-run pre-kindergarten programs are another huge burden on taxpayers, and, in fact, they are detrimental to children and our country. May 30, 2007 [More Results from World Net Daily]
Pre-K bill headed to Douglas' desk MONTPELIER -- Lawmakers reached a deal on the rules around state funding of early childhood education - that pitted those who want universal coverage against those who worry about increasing the cost to the education fund and the future of private nursery In the end, they split the difference. School districts will get state assistance in providing education to half of their 3- and 4-year-olds if they choose to do so. But if they provide those services to more than that number, local taxpayers will have to put up the additional money. by Louis Porter and Sarah Hinckley May 25, 2007 [More Results from Rutland Herald (VT)]
Clinton Wants Universal Preschool Program MIAMI BEACH -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is proposing a $10 billion federal program aimed at providing voluntary pre-kindergarten for all 4-year-old children in America. She said quality pre-kindergarten programs will more than pay for themselves because children will be less likely to enter special education programs, drop out of school or enter the welfare system. May 21, 2007 [More Results from KOCO Oklahoma City (FL)]
Clinton Wants Universal Preschool Program Hillary Rodham Clinton Says Plan Would Cost $10B Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is ready to propose a new federal plan that would offer high-quality preschool to every 4-year-old in the United States. May 21, 2007 [More Results from Channel 3000]
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)]
Culver Signs Universal Preschool Bill DES MOINES -- Governor Culver has signed into law a plan that lets virtually every 4 year old in the state enroll in quality preschool programs. The $60 million package will be spread over four years. It will help 28,000 children whose families who don't have access to high-quality program or can't afford them. May 1, 2007 [More Results from WOI (IA)]
RAND Preschool Study, Part II RAND's report, County-Level Estimates of the Effects of a Universal Preschool Program in California, predicts local reductions in high school dropouts, grade retention, special education years and juvenile crime. New research from economists at the RAND Corporation shows that a strategic, statewide investment in quality preschool opportunity for all would deliver major education and public safety benefits to local communities. by Lynn A. Karoly, Elaine Reardon, Michelle Cho March 27, 2007 [More Results from Preschool California]
Chicopee to study expanded preschool CHICOPEE - The School Committee will study ways to enroll more children of minority and low-income families into its preschool to ensure children who may need it most get an early start. The city currently offers a variety of preschool classes to students including a popular full-day class, an autism program and this year it opened a new class at Chicopee High School which has high school students in child development classes visiting to observe. by Jeanette DeForge March 27, 2007 [More Results from masslive.com (MA)]
Preschool teacher education unlikely to improve quality or learning Policymakers are increasingly requiring that public preschool teachers have at least a bachelor's degree, preferably in early childhood education. An analysis of seven major studies of early care and education suggests that policies focused solely on teacher education are not likely to increase classroom quality or boost children's academic gains. March 27, 2007 [More Results from Huliq]
Preschool and Daycare can mean Behavior Problems in Elementary School The studied tracked 1,364 children from birth as part of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development and is the largest and longest running study to understand the effects of child care. The children were measured for academic achievement, cognitive abilities from kindergarten through 5th grade. They studied the social development from kindergarten through 6th grade. March 26, 2007 [More Results from Best Syndication]
Study Says Preschool Child Care Affects Vocabulary, Behavior Later Children who got quality child care before entering kindergarten had better vocabulary scores in the fifth grade than did youngsters who received lower-quality care. Also, the more time that children spent in child care, the more likely their sixth-grade teachers were to report problem behavior. The findings come from the largest study of child care and development conducted in the United States. March 26, 2007 [More Results from The Washington Post]