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Reading/Literacy


The Road to High-Quality Early Education PDF - Quality in early childhood programs will be essential if children are to be proficient readers at the end of 3rd grade. This brief highlights Colorado’s efforts to create structures and governance to support quality. A second part of the brief describes one classroom-level approach to achieving high-quality early education. (Stephanie Rose and Karen Schimke, ECS, December 2011)...

Subprime Learning: Early Education in America Since the Great Recession - Five years after the height of the Great Recession, the authors looked at an array of indicators in policy, funding, family well-being, and achievement for children from birth through third grade. They note real progress in home visitation, infrastructure-building, standards and accountability, but conclude those years have not worked in favor of young children. They saw more child poverty, a lack of attention to English language learners, years of reduced state funding and sequestered federal funding. (Lisa Guernsey, et al., New America Education Policy Program, January 2014)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Math in the Early Years PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform reveals five surprising findings about the strong relationship between early math instruction and later student achievement. Researchers have found that early knowledge of math not only predicts later success in math, but also predicts later reading achievement even better than do early reading skills. The paper concludes with implications and recommendations for state policy that will support the development of early math competencies and young children. (Doug Clements and Julie Sarama, University of Denver, October 2013)...

Championing Success: Business Organizations for Early Childhood Investments - America's business leaders are familiar with extensive evidence-based research on what works in early childhood and they are investing in it. By doing so, they also know they are investing in the future workforce and the U.S. economy. In this study, four types of business organizations were surveyed: state chambers of commerce, the largest city chambers, all state business roundtables, and a sampling of smaller, local chambers. Momentum appears to be growing and existing executive voices may become the framework for a bigger early childhood movement.(William Carpluk, Ready Nation and America's Promise Alliance, April 2013)...

College and Career Readiness: The Importance of Early Learning - This report reaffirms the importance of early learning and addresses the growing need of a system to support early learning in schools, as well as the obligation of educators and policymakers to promote public awareness of the advantages of early learning. (ACT, Feb 2013)...

College and Career Readiness: The Importance of Early Learning - Advocating for a rich curriculum from Day One of early learning even if that richness doesn't produce a quick pay off in test scores, this report points out early learning allows student interests to develop at an early age, to grow over time, and provides a basis for learning in the later grades. Playing catchup is difficult indeed. Students "far off the track in eighth grade had only a 10% chance in reading, 6% chance in science, and 3% chance in mathematics of reaching ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks by twelfth grade," according to the report. Also covered are components of a strong early learning program and several common beliefs that hold quality programs back. (ACT, February 2013)...

America's Report Card 2012: Children in the U.S. - This report provides a holistic picture of unmet needs in five areas of a child’s life: economic security, early childhood education, K-12 education, permanence and stability, and health and safety. The report also urges the American people to take action to boost children’s chances for success in school and life: vote in November’s general election for candidates who support investments in children; hold elected officials accountable for commitments to help children succeed; and engage with other local leaders to improve the lives of children in their own communities. (First Focus, October 2012)...

P-3: Tackling Achievement Gaps Early PDF - This PowerPoint, presented at ECS’ 2012 National Forum on Education Policy, discusses the what and why of a P-3 framework, examines key challenges and presents strategies for state policy. (Kristie Kauerz, University of Washington, July 2012)...

Educational Alignment for Young Children: Profiles of Local Innovation - The Institute for Youth, Education and Families has launched an initiative to help municipal leaders align early childhood programs and elementary education in ways that increase the likelihood that children will be poised for educational success by the time they reach the third grade. As part of that initiative, this report identifies five cities that are on the leading edge of efforts to create a seamless educational pipeline for children ages 0-8. Innovative alignment strategies in Boston, Hartford, San Antonio, San José and Seattle aim to ensure that more children are succeeding in school and reading at grade level by the end of third grade. (National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families, May 2012)...

Starting School at a Disadvantage: The School Readiness of Poor Children - This paper examines the reasons why poor children are less ready for school at age five than other children and evaluates three interventions for improving their social readiness including: preschool programs; smoking cessation programs for pregnant mothers, and; nurse home visiting programs. The authors find that, of the three interventions they considered, preschool programs offer the most promise for increasing children’s school readiness. (Center on Children and Families at Brookings, March 2012)...

Starting School at a Disadvantage: The School Readiness of Poor Children - This paper examines children’s readiness for school at age five, comparing poor children to children from more affluent families. The paper addresses two important questions: First, why are poor children less ready to learn than children from more affluent families? Second, does a better understanding of key explanatory factors suggest targets of opportunity, that is, points of possible intervention to improve the early academic skills and behaviors of low-income children? (Center on Children and Families at Brookings, March 2012)...

Beyond Bachelor's: The Case for Charter Colleges of Early Childhood Education - The authors propose that states create "Charter Colleges of Early Childhood Education"--research-driven, flexible and accountable institutions that would help increase the supply of high-quality childhood educations; provide those workers and their families with stable, well-paying jobs; and create a new model of higher education and credentialing that can be applied to other fields as well. (Sara Mead and Kevin Carey, Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation, August 2011)...

Early Care and Education for Children in Immigrant Families - This issue of "The Future of Children" journal includes an article on immigrant families' access to early care and education programs. The authors find that while the gap seems to be narrowing, immigrant children are still significantly less likely to participate than their native-born peers in center-based early childhood programs. They note that given the body of research showing the benefits of high-quality early education for English language learners and immigrant children, this persistent trend can negatively impact both these children and society. (Brookings Institution/Princeton University, Spring 2011)...

What Works for Early Language and Literacy Development - This fact sheet provides an overview of the effectiveness of 15 early literacy intervention programs on improving seven skills -- vocabulary development, verbal fluency and auditory comprehension, phonemic/phonological awareness, letter/word knowledge and print concepts, emergent literacy skills, narrative skills and peer interaction and communication. For each skill, the document lists programs that have demonstrated positive, significant impact; those that have shown mixed results; and those that have not been found to be effective. (Child Trends, June 2011)...

A Framework for State Leadership and Action in Building the Components of an Early Childhood System - This brief provides an overview of exemplary state policies that contribute to each of four components of a comprehensive early childhood system – early learning; family support; special needs/early intervention; and health, mental health and nutrition. A section is also devoted to state actions that increase coordination among these four areas. (Charles Bruner, BUILD, 2011)...

We CAN Do Better: NACCRRA's Ranking of State Child Care Center Regulations and Oversight - This 2011 report scores 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense on selected aspects of their child care center regulations and oversight as of December 2010. There are signs of progress since the first report in 2007. Recommendations are given for states to improve their programs. State specific information is provided. (Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, April 2011)...

QRIS and P-3: Creating Synergy Across Systems to Close Achievement Gaps and Improve Opportunities for Young Children - This report asserts that states can provide more aligned birth-to-eight services that support children’s early learning and development when QRIS and P-3 reform efforts are combined. Specific recommendations include: ensuring that the provision of quality services and alignment occur in all early childhood settings, inclusive of child care and beyond public school pre-k programs; taking a comprehensive approach to children’s developmental needs; employing assessment strategies that examine children’s developmental progress and evaluate teacher’s effectiveness and; developing “professional learning communities” that will allow early childhood and K-12 teachers to learn from another. (Kristie Kauerz and Abby Thorman, BUILD, March 2011)...

Double Jeopardy: Poorer Social-Emotional Outcomes for Children in the NICHD - In a study of more than 700 children from across the country, researchers found that children from a healthy home environment demonstrated slightly better social-emotional outcomes after experiencing higher-quality child care than after low-quality care. However, among children who came from less supportive homes, high-quality child care was found to provide a substantial boost. These children had fewer behavioral problems than peers who suffered the "double jeopardy" of coming from a poor home environment and experiencing low-quality care. (Child Development, February 2011)...

State-Level Indicators for Social-Emotional Development - This brief surveys states' progress in adopting and tracking seven indicators that measure states’ and communities’ effectiveness in supporting young children’s social-emotional development. The publication also discusses steps states can take to develop systems that help them better understand the social-emotional well being of young children in their communities. (National Center for Children in Poverty, February 2011)...

Child Well-Being Index - An annual report tracking the well-being of children, from birth to 18, as measured by 28 indicators related to seven outcome areas: family economic well-being, health, safe/risky behavior, educational attainment, community engagement, social relationships and emotional/spiritual well-being. (Foundation for Child Development)...

Building Ready States: A Governors Guide to Supporting a Comprehensive, High-Quality Early Childhood State System - This report clarifies the features of a comprehensive, high-quality early childhood state system and suggests six actions states need to take to create the high-quality early childhood state system. Finally, they suggest what states need to do to get started. (Rachel Demma, NGA Center for Best Practices, October 2010)...

Investing in Young Children: New Directions in Federal Preschool and Early Childhood Policy - This report describes the state of federally funded early childhood programs Head Start, Early Head Start, child care and home visiting and offering recommendations for reform as of 2010. Overall, it found that federal investments are providing the level of access and quality that children and families need. The report also offers recommendations to improve federal preschool and early childhood policy. (Brookings Institution & The National Institute for Early Education Research, October 2010)...

Young Children Use Statistical Sampling to Infer the Preferences of Other People - This study suggests that young children use their basic understanding of statistics to make inferences about people's motivation and preferences. Researchers found that even at a young age, children were inferring that people who choose rare objects probably have a strong preference for that specific item. This study suggests that young children are capable of more sophisticated mathematical reasoning and social learning than what typical early care and education programs may support. (Psychological Science, 2010) ...

Key Readings on Policy Levers to Promote Social Inclusion and Respect for Diversity in Early Childhood - To help early childhood programs more effectively serve an increasingly ethnically-diverse population, the National Center for Children in Poverty produced a list of key readings for policy makers and program administrators that help them examine practices in workforce and leadership development, accreditation and quality improvement, learning standards and child assessments. (Mariajose Romero, National Center for Children in Poverty, July 2010)...

Linking Ready Kids to Ready Schools - Governors in Arizona, Connecticut, Ohio and Pennsylvania worked with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and the Education Commission of the States (ECS) to convene Governors’ Forums: Linking Ready Kids to Ready Schools to review and accelerate strategies to help children move seamlessly from the early years to elementary school and beyond. This report provides policy insights from the Governors' Forums series. To view video of the presentations from the Ready Kids Ready Schools National Forum click here....

P-3 Successful Practices: A Guide to Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment - This guide stands at the intersection of research, policy, program and practice. Its chief aim is to show how research translates into policy, policy into program and program into practice. It examines what is know in two areas: (1) Successful curriculum, instruction and assessment practices; and (2) systems that support effective implementation. (Colorado Department of Education, November 2008)...

Impacts of Early Childhood Programs - Brookings, in collaboration with First Focus, released a collection of research briefs on state pre-k, Head Start, Early Head Start, home visiting, and other "model early childhood programs." Each brief summarizes the research on a program's impact on children and families, describes the strength of the evidence base, and outlines relevant federal legislation related to the programs. (Julia Isaacs, Brookings Institution, September 2008)...

Supporting Young Children and Families: An Investment Strategy That Pays - This paper from the Brookings Institution makes the case for increased federal leadership in early education policy. Specifically, it recommends three early childhood programs in particular: high-quality pre-k for three- and four-year-olds; home visit programs for first-time mothers living in poverty; and paid parental leave after birth or adoption. (Julia Isaacs, Brookings Institution, 2008)...

The Changing Face of the United States: The Influence of Culture on Early Childhood Development - A paper by ZERO TO THREE examines the increasing cultural diversity in the United States and its implications for early education professionals. The author raises the challenging question of how to address instances when conventional understanding of "best practices" and "healthy" development conflicts with beliefs and behaviors of minority cultures. Included is an extensive bibliography of early childhood studies that include culturally diverse children in their samples. (Bell Maschinot, Zero to Three, 2008)...

Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: Recommendations for States - Recommendations are presented to assist states in creating or revising Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers (ELG/ITs). These guidelines consist of "widely accepted expectations for learning” for children from birth to three. (Sandra Peterson, Lynn Jones and Karen McGinley, Zero to Three, 2008)...

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) - The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) program includes three longitudinal studies that examine child development, school readiness, and early school experiences. The ECLS program provides national data on children's status at birth and at various points thereafter; children's transitions to nonparental care, early education programs, and school; and children's experiences and growth through the eighth grade. The ECLS program also provides data to analyze the relationships among a wide range of family, school, community, and individual variables with children's development, early learning, and performance in school....


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